Casino & Gambling Songs – Our Top Picks (Part 1)
‘Tis the season to be jolly and people tend to sing a lot more at this time of year, so while the festivities are under way, we thought we’d do a bit of celebrating ourselves. We’ve already taken a look at some of the top gambling films of all time – so we thought, why not take a peek at some of our favourite songs that have a casino or gambling theme?
Think there aren’t many? Think again! Here are just a few of our favourites….
1) TUMBLING DICE by The Rolling Stones (1972)
Who doesn’t love the Rolling Stones? Especially when their wild rock is combined with lyrics about casino games. This seventies classic, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, has plenty of dice and card references in it, although the main theme is Craps – who’d have thought it? A song about Craps? Genius! And if you don’t believe us that it’s great, it made number 7 in the U.S charts and number 5 in the U.K charts – and Rolling Stones Magazine listed it as one of their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Our favourite line: This low down bitchin’ got my poor feet a itchin’/ You know you know the deuce is still wild.
2) THE ACE OF SPADES by Motorhead (1980)
If the Stones hadn’t made a song about casinos, this would have been our first choice. One for the Blackjack fans among you, this is an iconic song that has as much bite as you can get. Sung by the formidable Lemmy, it’s intense and super-hyped, but utterly brilliant and we feel it truly catches the excitement and atmosphere of a really good game. It also spent 12 weeks in the UK charts, reaching number 15.
Our favourite line: If you like to gamble / I tell you, I’m your man / You win some, lose some / It’s all the same to me.
3) LUCK BE A LADY by Frank Sinatra (and others) (1966)
You can’t have a list of top casino games songs without have a crooner or two in there. Written for the 1950’s hit Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls, and originally sung by Robert Aida, this grew into an iconic tune that has been covered by many artists including Jack Jones (1964), Frank Sinatra (1966), and Chrissie Hynde (1994) – though we like the version by Old Blue Eyes the best.
Our favourite line: A lady doesn’t wander all over the room / And blow on some other guy’s dice / Let’s keep this party polite.
4) BLACKJACK by Ray Charles, (1955)
According to the legend that is Ray Charles, this song was written when he beat T-Bone Walker at a Blackjack session. Who knows whether it’s true, but we’re happy to believe whatever the man tells us. This song is full of great casino games terminology, as well as insight into a player’s emotions – and that’s why we love it so much. It was released as single on the Atlantic label and reached number 8 in the U.S R&B charts.
Our favourite line: I sat there with two tens / I thought I’d have some fun / The dealer hit sixteen with a five / Just enough to make twenty one.
5) GOOD RUN OF BAD LUCK by Clint Black (1994)
An atmospheric and catchy country song loaded with gambling terms, Good Run of Bad Luck also featured in the movie, Maverick, – so what’s not to like? And in case you didn’t realise, the singer Black also made a cameo appearance. This tune reached number one in the Canadian Country Tracks chart and number 20 in the US Country Songs charts. A great song in a great film – what a combination! The song includes some fun gaming phrases like “shoot the moon” and “ten the hard way.”
Our favourite line: A high roller even when the chips are down / To win her over, I’d seen the tables turn around
So, what do you think of our selection so far? Do these songs get your heart racing with their heart-felt stories and clever allusions to casino games, or do they get your heckles up? We’d love to know.
We’ll be continuing with more great casino songs in another post soon – and we’ll even include our worst of all time. But can you guess what else will make the grade? Or do you fancy predicting the song that gets our absolute blooper award?