How many songs do you know about gambling?
Pop culture and gambling go well together, from amazing casino scenes and roulette tables to glitz, glamour, and superstars selling out stadiums.
Music is full of songs about chance, luck, fortune and misfortune. Gambling creates compelling narratives for great music and vocals. The concept of turning a pound into a million pounds is endlessly fascinating. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous gambling songs ever recorded.
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The Ace of Spades - Motorhead
“If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man. / Win some, lose some. It’s all the same to me. / The pleasure is to play. It makes no difference what you say / I don't share your greed. The only card I need is the Ace of Spades / The Ace of Spades”
The Ace of Spades by rock legend Lemmy is an instantly recognisable song that is appreciated beyond the world of rock and roll.
The song correlates gambling at card tables and dancing with the devil. This song is excellent; however, it might get you too excited for a poker game.
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
“I wanna hold 'em like they do in Texas, please Fold 'em, / let them hit me, raise it, baby, stay with me (I love it) / Love game intuition, play the cards with spades to start / And after he's been hooked, I'll play the one that's on his heart.”
Lady Gaga’s hit single ‘Poker Face is a hit classic laced with poker references.
This song is about love and metaphors. Keeping your cards close to your chest suggests affection and love.
Viva Las Vegas - Elvis Presley
“How I wish that there were more / than the twenty-four hours in the day / even if there were forty more / I wouldn't sleep a minute away / Oh, there's blackjack and poker and the roulette wheel / A fortune won and lost on ev'ry deal / All you need's a strong heart and a nerve of steel. / Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas”
Elvis Presley, also known as the king, was a famous artist, especially in Las Vegas, so it makes sense to include him on this list.
Viva Las Vegas is a cheerful single that shares its name with the famous 1964 movie. The song's lyrics bring many delights and talk about beautiful women and, of course, gambling in the best place to play casino games.
The Stranger Song - Leonard Cohen
“And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind / You find he did not leave you very much, not even laughter / Like any dealer, he was watching for the card. / That is so high and wild. He'll never need to deal another”
The amazing Leonard Cohen was a lyrical genius, and some regarded him as a poetic marvel.
The Stranger Song is about how humans cheat and use one another. Maybe a little bit too sad to play during a game of cards with your friends, but it is an intelligent song from a true legend.
Gambler’s Blues - BB King
“I don't claim to be no gambler people / I tell you I don't know much about the dice / Oh, but I wait, and my baby knows / She knows I'm not the kind that's going to crap out twice. / Yes, she left me early this mornin' / I don't know the reason why / She just got up early this mornin' / Didn't even say goodbye.”
This song is another great song, performed by legendary blues god BB King.
This fantastic song is about a man who lost his woman. As a result, he turned to gambling. The song portrays happy and sad levels throughout the hit single. This song can be interpreted in many ways, depending on your mood.
Luck Be A Lady - Frank Sinatra
“A lady doesn't leave her escort / It isn't fair, and it's not nice / A lady doesn't wander all over the room / And blow on some other guy's dice / So let's keep the party polite. / Never get out of my sight. / Stick with me, baby. I'm the guy that you came in with / Luck be a lady / Luck be a lady / Luck be a lady, tonight.”
Frank Sinatra is always portrayed in Las Vegas casinos and strips, especially in the 1950s.
This song is about last luck and how it is similar to gambling in a casino. You can either go home a winner or a complete loser.
Casino Boogie – Rolling Stones
How can we include the legendary Rolling Stone? Even though the song doesn't have many references to gambling. However, this song was produced during Mick Jagger’s frequent visits to the Monte Carlo Casino. The lyrics are somewhat confusing, but they are open to anyone's interpretation.
Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
“Oh, everything dies, baby, that's a fact. / But maybe everything that dies someday comes back / Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty / And meet me tonight in Atlantic City / Now I've been lookin' for a job, but it's hard to find / There are winners, and there are losers / And I'm south of the line / Well, I'm tired of gettin' caught out on the losin' end / But I talked to a man last night, going to do a little favour for him.”
At first, it’s not apparent that the song has gambling references, but the signs are there if you read between the lines.
If you haven’t guessed yet, Atlantic City is one of the world’s most eminent gambling sanctuaries. So you can see the clear connection between the lyrics and Atlantic City.
Rambling, Gambling Willie – Bob Dylan
“Come around you rovin' gamblers and a story I will tell / About the greatest gambler, you all should know him well / His name was Will O'Conley, and he gambled all his life / He had 27 children, yet he's never had a wife / And it's a ride, Willie, ride, Roll, Willie, roll / Wherever you're gamblin' now, Nobody really knows.”
Rambling, Gambling Willie by Bob Dylan is a song about a guy who roamed from town to town across the US. He would father many children and win everything on the table. In the last verse, you will hear how gambling Willie took his gambling too far, and the message to the listeners is clear.
So there we have it, a list of some of the most famous songs about gambling. Which one is your favourite? There are many more terrific songs about gambling waiting to be heard.
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