What are your favourite gambling-related songs?
Gambling is a practice as old as the human race. Since the oldest civilizations, humans have engaged in games of chance and wagers on various athletic competitions. Over the years, stories have been told, books written and music sung about the archetypal lone gambler, who drifts from town to town, playing whatever games are most popular in the society of the time.
The tradition of the romanticized gambler in fiction and media continues to this day. Our media is chock-full of gambling films, songs, television shows or novels. In this article, we are going to take a look at a few songs focused around a gambler, or gambling in general.
“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers
Written by Don Schlitz, The Gambler is one of the most iconic songs of the 20th century. It has been sung and recorded by a wide variety of artists, including the late, great Johnny Cash. However, no rendition of the song comes even close to the recording made by Kenny Rogers, a legend in his own right.
The Gambler is a narrative song, telling the story of a man who meets an old gambler on the train. In his last moments of life, the gambler imparts some wisdom on the young man and then “faded off to sleep”. The song’s iconic status is indisputable, and lyrics from the song have entered our everyday lexicon today.
Songs like The Gambler are rarely written anymore. Reasons vary, however, one of them might be that the rise of online casinos, like the ones found at Spinsify, have largely replaced land-based casinos. As convenient as these websites are, sitting in front of a computer screen and clicking buttons does not make for an exciting song.
“Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
The King of Rock and Roll’s rendition of the song Viva Las Vegas is still one of the most iconic recordings of the 20th century. There is nary a film, Television show, or any other form of visual media that will not feature the song (or some parody of it) in its soundtrack, if it is set in the City of Sin.
The song comes from the 1964 musical of the same name, in which Elvis Presley starred as the main character, Lucky Jackson. While the film is an entertaining romp, it is nowhere near as iconic or as remembered as the titular song, which has seen multiple covers over the years.
“Luck be a Lady” by Various
The song Luck be a Lady was written and composed by Frank Loesser in 1950. The first performance of the song is attributed to Robert Alda, and numerous artists have brought their own rendition over the years. Some of the more popular ones include Marlon Brando in the 1955 film Guys and Dolls, where he portrays a gambler, Barbara Streisand on her 1993 album, Back to Broadway, and rock singer Dee Snider on his solo album Dee Does Broadway.
However, the most popular rendition of the song is definitely music legend Frank Sinatra’s rendition. The smooth jazz singer is one of the most popular singers of all time, with a deep and recognizable voice. His songs are still widely remembered and used in media to this day, and his rendition of Luck be a Lady is no exception.