Music captures and expresses our dreams and fears. Be it dealing with a heartbroken love life that never seems to end, dreaming of a glitzy casino lifestyle as seen in films or heard about in songs, or enjoying a cold beer on an empty beach, there is at least one song written about it. When you first see a song title, you’ll usually have a pretty good idea what the song will be about, but not always. “The Jack,” for example, may not be about all that it seems.
Metal poker music
Probably the best metal song with a poker theme is “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead. Lemmy has claimed the song was written to try to fit as many poker phrases as possible into three verses, and it comes across as a real mismatch of terms. For metal lovers, the song is consistently mentioned amongst the top 25 metal riffs for beginners. Using the lyrics as a guide to life “you win some, lose some, it’s all the same to me” it works great as a mood booster. It also includes some words of caution: “You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools,” which would make any civil servant working on gaming awareness and policy development proud.
Another song combining metal and poker is “Deal” by the Grateful Dead. The lyrics include some important advice when playing: “Watch each card you play and play it slow.” Other great lines from Grateful Dead songs to guide our lives include “Without love in the dream it will never come true,” “Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey,” and “Put your money where your love is.” However, sometimes everything else fails and there is “nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.”
At first the lyrics of “The Jack” by AC/DC sound like the song may be about a card game, but it’s actually making a clever play on words. The term ‘The Jack’ is Australian slang for gonorrhea, and according to singer Bon Scott the song came about after the band’s first-hand experience of the venereal decease. Suddenly “She played ’em fast, and she played ’em hard,” “but how was I to know, that she’d been shuffled before,” and “she’s got the jack, she’s got the jack, she’s got the jack” take on a completely different meaning.
After a really bad time at the tables you may find some consolation in listening to the “The Card Cheat” by English punk band The Clash. The lyrics tell us about a man “with a card up his sleeve” and how he plays it, but the dealer notices that something isn’t right. Hence “the gambler is seized and forced to his knees,” followed by the very direct “and shot dead.” As with “Ace of Spades,” there is some life advice in this song too; “Before you met your fate be sure you did not forsake your lover.”
Switching on the radio, you are more likely to hear Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” Katy Perry’s “Waking Up In Vegas,” Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” or Ray Charles’ “Losing Hand.”
Probably the most eye-catching poker player is Liv Boeree. She is a very keen metal fan and former physicist from University of Manchester, United Kingdom. She’s dubbed the “Iron Maiden” by some of her rivals and Iron Maiden are indeed also one of her favourite bands. She came to stardom back in 2005 when she took part in a poker reality show. Since then, she has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most successful female poker players of all time with winnings of over USD $3.5m.
Amongst the metal musicians, Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains and Scott Ian of Anthrax have been seen participating in poker events, they have also been seen playing with www.megareel.com games. Ian took part in the World Series of Poker where he won over $20,000. Other enthusiasts allegedly include Slash from Guns n’ Roses and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.
Even if playing or watching poker isn’t your thing, there are some great songs about the subject that can get you into the right mood, be it for a lifestyle with glitz and glamour or a quiet drink on a deserted beach.