House of the Rising Sun
Chords & Lyrics

House of the Rising Sun chords and lyrics for your piano students. 

This is an irresistible and unforgettable ballad, made more so by the voice of Eric Burdon of The Animals.  See this fabulous recording from 1964, on what looks like (in my husband's assessment) a set from the original Star Trek:

The traditional lyrics

I have not used the exact lyrics sung by The Animals, but instead have used the traditional public domain words.  

They are almost identical.  I don't have chord symbols on these piano sheets - on purpose - but when I make lead sheets I'll add them.

House of the Rising Sun piano sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the links to the PDF sheets.

No chord symbols - can your students recognize these chords?

Here is page two:

Page two of piano arrangement of House of the Rising Sun, showing the lyrics

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Longer, harder chords in the left hand

The next sheet music PDF is with LONG octave broken chords, as opposed to simple triads.  You can see how I like to start basic, and build more complexity in.  

My students like that approach too:

House of the Rising Sun with long broken chords

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

When to help with fingering... one idea

I haven't added any fingering to this melody - by the time kids are good enough to read these notes easily, they generally are happier working out their own fingering.  

By the second lesson with a new piece, if I can see that they are sabotaging themselves with their poor choices, I will help them with a compromise fingering and write it in.  

(Usually after a couple weeks they will believe me!  The only downside to waiting, of course, is that they may have a habit that is hard to break.)

Now go for a fancier rhythm

The next skill level is to alter the rhythm to sound more like what The Animals had in their arrangement.  Look at the left hand chords - same chords, just a fancier rhythm:

Syncopated rhythm with House of the Rising Sun

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Now add right hand chords

The final stage of this song is to add right hand chords to the downbeats in the melody.  

My students who can do this are already familiar with making chord inversions, from years of playing chords in songs and in exercises.

Right hand chords & inversions in House of the Rising Sun


The links to the piano music:



Download House of the Rising Sun chords in 3/8 time, with simple triad broken chord pattern



Download House of the Rising Sun with longer broken chords



Download syncopated rhythm left hand version of House of the Rising Sun



Download arrangement with right hand chord inversions 


Comments

Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!

Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Heidi Evans, piano teacher 
My 13-year-old student loves "House of the Rising Sun" because he thinks it sounds like "Star Wars" music! Thank you for this amazing resource! …

Click here to write your own.








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.