There are certain subjects that will always inspire songs: love, loss, breakups, and makeups… When it comes to select topics, it seems the only way we can really make sense of them is to turn our experiences into epic tunes.
But not every area covered by pop is equally weighty. While romance and longing might top the charts weekly, they’re not the only subjects our favourite lyricists write about. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll also feature, along with the high-rolling, glamorous world of the casino.
With gambling having inspired dozens of famous tunes, we take a look at five of the most popular, so get ready for one very special playlist.
Luck Be a Lady by Frank Sinatra
Like the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra was not only one of the most famous musicians ever to walk the earth, but an ardent admirer of that famous gambling mecca: Las Vegas. A regular performer during its 50s and 60s heyday, he was often found crooning a very aptly titled song: Luck Be a Lady, which he recorded and released in 1950. We can only imagine how many of fortune’s favoured ones have scored a win, and maybe some free spins, whilst listening to its lilting, well-known lines playing softly in the background.
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
If there’s one card game we’re all familiar with, it’s poker. Available to play at every self-respecting casino, both off and online, it’s a game that requires equal parts luck and skill, with sites like casinobonusca sharing dozens of exciting offers to help players get the most for their money. It also happens to be the subject of 1978 song The Gambler, made famous by the talented Kenny Rogers. An iconic song about meeting a mysterious gambler on a train, it shares an important lesson for both life and poker: “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”
Waking Up in Vegas by Katy Perry
More recently, renowned crooner Katy Perry has been touching on the subject of casinos too. During the early years of her fame, in 2009, she released this popular tune, which shares the immortal line that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” An exploration of the city’s wild party scene, the accompanying video even depicted two vital Vegas traditions: dressing up as an Elvis impersonator and getting married.
Snake Eyes by Mumford and Sons
The ever-popular Mumford and Sons also got in on the casino action in 2015. A British folk-rock band, they’re often viewed as an acquired taste, but their song Snake Eyes holds more of a mass appeal than most in their portfolio. Telling the tale of a down-on-his-luck guy who’s pining for his ex-girlfriend, it uses frequent casino-based analogies, including its titular phrase, which represents one of the worst rolls you can get.
Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley
Last but not least, who could compile a casino-themed playlist without including this most famous of songs: Viva Las Vegas. Released by Elvis in 1963, it marks one of his most well-known and enduringly popular titles. Originally used as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, it has been covered dozens of times over, by everyone from ZZ Top to Engelbert Humperdinck.
Fancy a little casino-themed action of your own? Then bring this playlist to life, turn the volume up, and see if Lady Luck is on your side!