“This Ole House” by Shakin’ Stevens

“This Ole House” as described in this track could literally refer to an old house which was once a source of comfort to the people it accommodated. However, it is more likely a metaphor for the human body, which in the Biblical perspective is left behind when a person dies.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Shakin' Stevens's This Ole House at Lyrics.org.

The writer recalls how this old house or person once had a family to cater for and was a source of joy to certain people. It also talks about how it experienced both laughter and difficult situations, but now lies lifeless in darkness; a clear reference to death.

In the subsequent verses, the narrator uses various parts of a typical building including window panes, hinges and floor as metaphors to explain how this “house” is overly faulty and no longer functional. The narrator concludes by emphasizing the fact that this body is no more useful. He mentions meeting the saints to depict how people believe that the soul and spirit of a person leaves the mortal body to go to heaven when a person dies.

Stuart Hamblen who wrote this song has revealed that the lyrics were inspired by an experience he had while hunting together with actor John Wayne. The two found a hut in which the body of a dead man lay, with his dog still guarding the place.

“This Ole House” Facts

  • Primary Artist/Band: Shakin’ Stevens
  • Writing: Stuart Hamblen
  • Production: Stuart Colman
  • Release: February of 1981
  • Album: Shakin’ Stevens’ rock and roll album entitled “This Ole House”

What music genre is “This Ole House”?

It is a true rock and roll track.

Success on the UK Singles Chart

This song was a huge hit in Britain. And accordingly it reached number 1 on the coveted Singles Chart.

FYI: it toppled Roxy Music’s “Jealous Guy” from number 1 to assume the position. At number 1, “This Ole House” remained for exactly 3 weeks.

Are there any covers of “This Ole House”?

Yes, there are. And it should also be mentioned that Shakin’ Stevens’ version is in itself a cover. One of the earliest versions of this classic was released by Rosemary Clooney in 1954. In 1981 and 2011, The Shadows and Willie Nelson respectively also released their versions.

Did Shakin’ Stevens release this as a single?

Yes, he did. It was the final single from his album with similar name.

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s about a literal house, not a metaphor for the human body. While out hunting, the songwriter Stuart Hamblen saw a dog hanging around an old cabin in the woods and went inside to find the owner dead. That’s what led him to write the song about how the old man no longer needed his house, and he threw in a bit about the dog as well.

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