I’ll see you, I’ll call you, I’ll raise you  and Other Songs About Poker

I’ll see you, I’ll call you, I’ll raise you

and Other Songs About Poker

Song writers and performers have an affinity with poker.  Michael Wiesenberg shares some of his favourites and we’ve given you some links to help you enjoy.

Robert Hunter, songwriter for the Grateful Dead, penned several songs about cards. “Deal” is one of the best:

Since it cost a lot to win
and even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
wondering what to choose

Goes to show you don’t ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don’t you let that deal go down

Is that about winners and losers? Or maybe dealer advantage?

Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” ends thus:

Pushing up the ante, I know you wanna see me
Read ’em and weep, the dead man’s hand again
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die
The only thing you see, You know it’s gonna be
The Ace of Spades
The Ace of Spades

Abba’s “The Winner Takes It All” tells us all we need to know about winning and losing:

I don’t wanna talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play
The winner takes it all
The loser standing small

Kim Carnes’ “Draw Of The Cards” seems to be about 7-card stud, or is it about how to bet?

Lightnin’ strikes, Breath of life
Red black or white, Watch ‘em fall
And it’s all in the draw of the cards
And it’s all in the draw of the cards

Drop the cards,
Watch the eyes,
Down and dirty,
Let ‘em ride!

Carly Simon’s “Riverboat Gambler,” cowritten by Jacob Brackman, nicely describes the life of a road hustler:

Riverboat gambler
Drinking alone on the prow
Chasing your bourbon with Tennessee gin
The big game’s about to begin

Riverboat gambler
Hiding that ace up your sleeve
I can see through all that debonair style
The irony bending your smile

And I won’t tip your hand
I won’t do you in
I want to stay near you
I want you to win

Riverboat gambler
You can defy all the odds
You can draw diamonds to fill out your flush
You can find someone to trust

Ray Charles tells us what happens when we hold a “Losing Hand”:

I gambled on your love baby and got a losing hand
I gambled on your love baby and got a losing hand
Your ways keep changing like the shifting desert sand

While I was playing fair baby you played a cheating game
While I was playing fair baby you played a cheating game
I know you don’t care but I love you just the same

I thought I’d be your king baby, yes and you could be my queen
I thought I’d be your king baby, yes and you could be my queen
But you used me for your joker ´cause I thought you’re deal was clean

The way you did me pretty baby I declare I never understand
The way you did me pretty baby I declare I never understand
I gambled on your love baby and got a losing hand

Suzanne Vega’s “No Cheap Thrill” seems to be about wild card games, but do look up the entire lyrics to see how it gets into real poker with some saucy, suggestive double entendres:

Ante up. And don’t be shy.
Who is that man who is catching my eye?
What’s underneath all of the deadpan face?
Sitting so pretty with a criminal grace?

Lamebrain Pete wants to Spit in the Sea.
He’s got a cool hand but it isn’t for me.
Butcher Boy thinks he’ll be splitting the pot.
But I’ve seen what he’s got and it isn’t a lot.
:
I’ll see you, I’ll call you, I’ll raise you
But it’s no cheap thrill
It will cost you, cost you, cost you
Anything you have to pay.

I limit the straddles, and you shuffle and deal.
When will the dealer reveal how he feels?
Is the lucky beginner just a five-card stud?
Is this winning streak going to be nipped in the bud?

AC/DC got into the cardroom business with “The Jack”:

She gave me the queen
She gave me the king
She was wheelin’ and dealin’
Just doin’ her thing
She was holdin’ a pair
But I had to try
Her deuce was wild
But my ace was high
But how was I to know
That she’d been dealt with before
Said she’d never had a full house
But I should have known
From the tattoo on her left leg
And the garter on her right
She’d have the card to bring me down
If she played it right

Iron Maiden offered good advice to those who play over their heads in “The Angel And The Gambler”:

You have been warned
But still you plunge in
You play high stakes
But there’s nothing to win
You’ve only one life
And so many things to learn

All lyrics are copyright and the property of their respective authors.

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