The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead and More: Five Famous Songs Influenced by Gambling

The Rolling Stones - Jim Pietryga


From Frank Sinatra to The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead, many artists have been influenced by gambling in their lyrics. Gambling references can even be heard in the early jazz era, while some of the biggest hits of the last 50 years sing about different aspects of the gambling universe. Whether they sing about a gambler’s story or compare life and love to a game of cards, these are the most famous gambling-themed songs:

1. Luck Be a Lady Tonight by Frank Sinatra
Many other artists before him sang this song, including Marlon Brando, but Frank Sinatra made “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” an instant classic. Ranking among Sinatra’s all-time greatest hits, the song was at its best when performed at shows in Las Vegas casinos. As you can see here, he had a long history of performing in casinos starting in the 1950s, which was a truly glamorous atmosphere apt for a magnificent voice such as his. Casinos all around the world still host live performance shows, keeping that glamour allure of gambling alive.

2. Tumbling Dice by The Rolling Stones
The “Tumbling Dice” was born after Mick Jagger had had a conversation with his maid about craps. When Jagger explained that he did not know the rules, she gave him a quick rundown on how to shoot dice. He then incorporated parts of her tutorial into this song about a man having commitment problems with his girlfriend.

Grateful Dead Deal – Courtesy

3. Deal by The Grateful Dead
Although originally on Jerry Garcia’s 1972 debut solo album, “Deal” became a song in heavy rotation at live Grateful Dead concerts. This San Francisco band that loved to write and sing about characters on the western frontier, such as gamblers and card players, is the perfect example of the 1960s free spirit. With lyrics like “Goes to show, you don’t ever know / Watch each card you play and play it slow / Wait until that deal come round” the song captures the lure and excitement of gambling.

4. Ace of Spades by Motorhead
This classic heavy metal song opens up to the public with “If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man / You win some, lose some, all the same to me.” It tells the story of a man that likes to live life in the fast lane. It is one of those songs that makes people want to go out for a run or even try their luck out at a game of chance themselves – and with online slots available for mobile devices, it’s much easier to do this, in 2019: People just have to plug in their headphones, have a look at mobile games like Mega Moolah (not forgetting to cash in on free spins) and turn Ace of Spades up to maximum volume.

5. Gambler by Madonna
Mostly known from the “Vision Quest” movie soundtrack, a film about an aspiring high school wrestler, the disco-punk song “Gambler” was solely written by Madonna. This was unusual, as throughout her career she has always collaborated with co-writers. In the lyrics, the singer lives a gambling-like lifestyle, filled with risk and adventure, while also being worried about her lover not being able to keep up with her lifestyle.