4 Famous Songs You Didn’t Know Were About Gambling

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There is plenty of music out there about the thrill of setting chips on the table, or the talent of

keeping on a poker face and taking bold chances. Other songs are less obvious about it. Some are

very deep, cutting into things that no one really wants to think about day by day. Some of these

songs have been circulating on the radio for decades, hiding their deep meanings behind a catchy

chorus and cryptic verses.

  1. Take Me Down to Junior’s Farm

It’s hard to say exactly what Paul McCartney’s possibly acid-fueled hit is about, but gambling is

definitely one of those things. The song drifts between strange little anecdotes, from coming

face-to-face with a sea lion to watching 1920’s cinema, but always coming back to that one time

the character made it big playing poker. Like that one fishing story that never dies, the song

keeps prodding, saying “you should have seen me with the poker man.” The story sure seems

exciting, though. He bet $1,000 on a single round of poker, and managed to scrape ahead

because of a glimpse at a rival’s cards.

  1. House of the Rising Sun

Written and performed by The Animals, The House of the Rising Sun comes from a long

tradition of folk tunes lamenting the life of a broke gambler in New Orleans. It describes the

struggle to leave the casino behind and the crushing knowledge that the urge to gamble will

always be constant, and happiness only comes from returning to the casino.

  1. Candyman

The Grateful Dead hit is about a traveling gambler causing excitement everywhere he goes,

much like the Grateful Dead, themselves, did when they went on tour. When he comes into town,

the candyman gets all of the boys to come out and gamble by rolling bones, with a promise:

“Seven come eleven, boys, I’ll take your money home.” That would certainly be the life, causing

a ruckus just for showing up and then coming home with heavy pockets.

  1. Roll the Bones

The 1970’s philosophical band, Rush, compares gambling to being alive. Roll the Bones asks

why people are here and what they should do with their lives, and doesn’t come up with an

answer. Instead, it urges to just keep rolling the bones and not worry about coming up with all

the answers. “Why are we here? Because we’re here. Roll the bones,” the song echoes and



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