New York, NY (Top40 Charts) There's nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of watching the roulette wheel spin around or waiting for the dealer to flip their cards in poker. That feeling of excitement has inspired many musicians over the years, and gambling has made its way into almost every genre of music. The lavish lifestyle commonly associated with gambling makes an excellent topic for song lyrics, as does the way it can be related to other emotions, like love.
Here are some of the best songs that have been inspired by gambling.
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
With a name like The Gambler, this song had to make the list. Kenny Rogers tells the story of when he met an old, experienced gambler on a train journey in this classic country tune. He gives Kenny advice on gambling, but in reality, it's deeper than that. He talks about knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em, meaning identifying when something is worth the effort, or when it's time to walk away. If you're feeling inspired to do a bit of gambling after all this talk about cards, click here.
Ace of Spades - Motorhead
If you want to kick it up a notch, this rock and roll anthem will get you pumped to lay your cards on the table. Ace of Spades was released by Motorhead in 1980 and became the title track to their album. Though the song is about the iconic ace of spades card and gambling, there are many metaphors for life spread throughout the song. With gambling references such as "read 'em and weep" and "pushing up the ante," the tune is about living life in the fast lane.
Shape of My Heart - Sting
Shape of My Heart is a pop-rock song about a poker player whose goal isn't to win or gain respect, but to figure out the science and law behind luck. He's determined that there is some kind of logic behind it. The man in the story is a philosopher of sorts who, because he's a poker player, doesn't express any emotion. Many people assume this is a love song, while that was not Sting's intention.
Viva Las Vegas - Elvis Presley
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard of this iconic song about Sin City itself, Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas is one of Elvis Presley's most notable songs and is a feel-good pop song that makes you want to get on a flight and go to Vegas. The song is full of references to almost every casino game you can name, including poker, roulette, slots, and more. It's been featured in many TV shows and films, and even years later, it's still just as popular.
Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry
While not heavily focused on gambling, this Katy Perry song is all about Las Vegas and waking up with no money after gambling it all away the night before. Waking Up in Vegas is a fun, catchy pop song featuring a couple who got up to no good in Vegas, including getting married, losing the key to the motel, and now nursing a wicked hangover.