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The Five Best Songs About Gambling

by Carlton Whitfield. Published Wed 13 Jan 2021 16:49

Gambling is a popular hobby around the world, and it’s so popular that many musicians have created songs about the activity. We thought we’d take a look at what we believe are the five best songs about gambling, take a look at them below.

‘The Gambler’ By Kenny Rogers (1978)

‘The Gambler’ is a song by Kenny Rogers and the title track from Rogers’ 1978 album of the same name. Originally written by Don Schlitz, the song was covered numerous times by various artists but failed to chart until it was released by Kenny Rogers who turned it into a huge hit.

The song recounts the moment a gambler met the song’s narrator on a late-night train and the words of wisdom he offers to the narrator about life and its ups and downs. Much of the advice shared by the gambler are metaphors for playing a game of poker, which makes the song all the more enjoyable to listen to.

‘The Jack’ By AC/DC (1975)

AC/DC are arguably one of the most popular rock bands of all times, having released numerous hits. Although it wasn’t released as a single, The Jack appeared on the band’s T.N.T. album from 1975 and is filled with poker analogies used as innuendos for a sexually transmitted disease.

The song tells the story of a promiscuous woman who claims to be innocent, and it’s thought to be based on a letter band member Malcolm Young received from a woman during a tour of Adelaide, Australia.

‘Viva Las Vegas’ By Elvis Presley (1964)

‘Viva Las Vegas’ is one of Elvis Presley’s biggest hits and appeared on Elvis’ 1964 album of the same name. The song is based on Las Vegas, and Presley pays tribute to the city within the song, mentioning various casino games and describing the experience of visiting the city.

The song was written for Presley’s film of the same name and although it wasn’t popular at release, ‘Viva Las Vegas’ has cemented itself as part of pop culture and appears regularly in television shows, films, and as the theme music for online slots available at Internet casinos and their sister sites.

‘Atlantic City’ By Bruce Springsteen (1982)

Similarly to how Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ is an anthem dedicated to Vegas, Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Atlantic City’ is based on the popular gambling city of the same name. Springsteen’s song is somewhat darker and touches on serious themes like death, helping remind listeners that gambling isn’t all glitz and glamour.

Appearing on Springsteen’s 1982 solo album Nebraska, the song tells the story of a young couple who escape to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and how the young man is pushed into working for organised crime. Despite the dark themes, the song is one of Springsteen’s more famous.

‘Ace Of Spades’ By Motorhead (1980)

Our final suggestion for the best song about gambling is Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ which appeared on the British band’s 1980 album of the same name. The song, which is filled with gambling references, is reportedly inspired by the slot machines band member Lemmy used to play in London pubs.

The song is widely regarded as the band’s signature song and Lemmy, who died in 2015, claimed in his White Line Fever autobiography that he stuffed as many gambling metaphors into the song as possible because he couldn’t sing about “spinning fruit and wheels”.

There are numerous other popular songs based on gambling including Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’, Stevie Nicks’ ‘The Dealer’, Sting’s ‘Shape Of My Heart’, and numerous others. However, we believe these five songs are the best and are all worth listening to, regardless of whether you’re a gambler or not.


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