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Dave ItzkoffIn his search for the song's origins, Anthony, a journalist with The Associated Press, probably raises more questions than he answers. There is no consensus on whether the ballad's mournful narrator is a man or a woman, or whether the foreboding house of its title refers to a bar, a brothel or a prison. Yet our intrepid author rambles through plenty of memorable adventures, even if his intended mission turns out to be a bust.
—The New York Times