The 4 best songs about gambling
Top of the Slots
With the music charts filled with stories of love and loss, it can be a relief to hear a song about something different, such as online bingo.
Although not quite as offbeat as some of the “music” produced by Z-list Celebrity Big Brother contestants, the topic of gambling has garnered a famous back catalogue of its own.
And, while there are plenty of terrible examples that not even Nigel Winterburn could defend, the final songs on our shortlist are toe-tapping, card snapping classics.
Here is our rundown of the top four greatest songs ever written about the world of casinos, Las Vegas and Lady Luck herself.
Rambling, Gambling Willie
Recorded way back in July 1962, Rambling Gambling Willie, was originally intended to be part of Dylan’s second album.
The song tells the story of Will O’ Conley, a master gambler with 27 children, no wife and seemingly endless amounts of good fortune.
Poor Willie’s luck eventually ran out when a victim of his success shot him through the head. The moral of this song appears to be: make as much money as you can before somebody takes offence and murders you. Deep.
Ace of Spades
Inspired by the slot machines played by frontman, Lemmy (Ian Kilmister), in London pubs, Ace of Spades is the most famous song of heavy metal band, Motorhead.
The song was released in 1980 and also served as the title track of the band’s fourth studio album.
Ranked number 155 out of the 500 Greatest Songs o All Time by NME magazine, Ace of Spades is a fast-paced sweep through an all or nothing card game.
The song is so popular among gamblers that slot provider, Netent, even created a dedicated Motörhead slot game.
Made famous by American country star, Kenny Rogers, and written by Don Schlitz in 1976, “The Gambler” has also been covered by Johnny Cash and Bobby Bare.
The slightly morbid lyrics describes the tale of a late-night train meeting between the singer and a down on his luck gambler, and ends the likely death of the latter in his sleep.
The song was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in 2018 due to it being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”
Viva Las Vegas
Americans love to sing about their big cities. From New York (New York) to Chicago, you could barely imagine a British Frank Sinatra singing about Norwich, Sunderland or Slough.
Released as the theme song of its namesake 1964 film, “Viva Las Vegas” was actually recorded one year earlier by Elvis Presley.
With four verses dedicated to paying tribute to the original “Sin City”, Elvis covers every temptation and taboo available beneath the glow of neon lights.