Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

On a warm summer's eve
On a train bound for nowhere
I met up with the gambler
We were both too tired to sleep
So we took turns a-starin'
Out the window at the darkness
The boredom overtook us, he began to speak

He said, "Son, I've made a life
Out of readin' people's faces
Knowin' what the cards were
By the way they held their eyes
So if you don't mind me sayin'
I can see you're out of aces
For a taste of your whiskey
I'll give you some advice"

So I handed him my bottle
And he drank down my last swallow
Then he bummed a cigarette
And asked me for a light
And the night got deathly quiet
And his faced lost all expression
He said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep"

And when he finished speakin'
He turned back toward the window
Crushed out his cigarette
And faded off to sleep
And somewhere in the darkness
The gambler he broke even
And in his final words
I found an ace that I could keep

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done

You've got to know when to hold 'em
(When to hold 'em)
Know when to fold 'em
(When to fold 'em)
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done 

EVERY TEN-YEAR-OLD IN AMERICA ONCE HAD THIS SONG MEMORIZED

8 comments:

Aaron Vattano said...

Okay. Story songs can be fun but usually after you heard it once it becomes boring. Because they are so literal they usually lack the ability for people to project their own meaning into the song. This is why story songs are best performed live and usually the best setting is a campfire. But Kenny Rodgers is an exception. I can listen to this song over and over and still enjoy. Maybe it's the image of the two lonely travelers on a midnight train bound for nowhere. Or maybe it's Cuz this song takes me into my past. Whatever the reason it conjures romantic images of the old west and makes me happy. Objectively this song is about gambling which I disapprove of and can not endorse also it encourages smoking which is horrid and I am against. So ultimately I am forced to poo poo this song but I do it with a heavy heart.

El Bastardo said...

Horseshit on the shitkickers of every asshole redneck out there is what this song reminds me of.

Dan Tschirhart said...

This song taught me as a child that not all country songs blow goats, just most of them. My cousins and I played a lot of poker growing up, and this was the song we used to sing to each other in an attempt to psych each other out. Kenny Rogers had one more good song -The Coward of the County- but as I said before, most country songs are abysmal and blow goats.

Rubric said...

My buddy and I thought this song was gospel. We had long talks about its meaning. We knew that by god you do not count your money while youre sittin at the table. I had no idea at that time just how clownish Kenny Rogers was. I think it was Rogers and his ilk that drug country down to what it is now. The old stuff patsy cline etc. was pretty good. Then it all went to poo.

Aaron Vattano said...

It makes me sad that people I consider friends refuse to open up their minds and live in a bubble of lies. I should find new friends. Better friends.

Ryan Patterson said...

This song is utterly meaningless. Its about a dying drunk swindling the last bit of whiskey from another drunk. Then he talks a lot without saying a god damned thing. OF COURSE you need to know when to stay, fold, or walk away. Any retarded half wit knows that. This is country music logic at its finest.

Ryan Patterson said...

Then he went and got some fucked up plastic surgery... The gambler should have been with him then to advise him to "walk away from the table" or drop in to see what condition his condition was in. Yeah, yeah.... Oh yeah.

Booby McBoob said...

Mr. Patterson makes very good points. Obviously Mr. Rogers didn't give a fiddlers fart about his appearance all through the 70s and 80s. Then he decides the knife is the way to go. Rogers is the type of guy who when the house is on fire says "I forgot to schedule that colonoscopy."