Rock and roll and gambling go hand in hand together – sharing a certain reckless ethos and devil-may-care attitude. When done right, they’re also both very cool! So for a bit of fun, here’s my top 5 songs about gambling:
1. Motorhead – ‘Ace Of Spades’
Bet you weren’t expecting this to be on the list! You can’t talk about rock and gambling and not mention Lemmy and co’s classic ode to gambling as a rock and roll way of life: “That’s the way I like it baby / I don’t wanna live forever”.
2. The Animals – ‘House Of The Rising Sun’
Not strictly the Geordie bands song, but it’s the best (i.e. my favourite) version of the classic folk song – in which the narrator tells the story of his drunken, gambling old man and the trouble he’s caused:
3. Elvis Presley – ‘Viva Las Vegas’
Well you don’t get more rock and roll than The King: “Got a whole lotta money that’s ready to burn / So get those stakes up higher” – that’s how you do it!
4. The Grateful Dead – ‘Loser’
Of course, gambling isn’t all fun and games – it’s a serious business, and for every big winner there’s a lot more losers. The Grateful Dead capture the inner turmoil of the gambling addict in ‘Loser’:
5. Ray Charles – ‘Blackjack’
Ever had a bad beat at the blackjack table? Ray Charles knows your pain!
Looking back over this list I’m struck by the fact these are all quite old songs. I can’t even think of a decent modern song about gambling – so if I’ve missed out any obvious recent songs please let me know in the comments below (Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ doesn’t count as decent, by the way!)