Wednesday, January 10, 2007
| posted by Simon |
5:43 pm |
I have issues with Kenny Rogers. This started a few weeks ago when I heard a fucking awful song about what a hard time the USA has had over the last ten years. Not as fucking hard as anyone foolish enough not buy arms of them I can tell you.
Anyway, whilst mulling over Rogers’ mawkish shite I happened to think about The Gambler, one of his earlier hits. I actually quite like the song; it’s one of those I find myself singing along to when it’s on the radio. I decided to listen a bit more carefully just in case there were hidden messages about the world issues of the day. What I discovered was that once you get past the catchy chorus it actually doesn’t say anything about anything. It’s meaningless wank.
Allow me to explain.
On a warm summers evenin’ 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
till boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.
A train bound for nowhere ? Does this not mean it’s stationary ? And since when has anyone been too tired to sleep, it’s like these fuckers that tell you it’s too cold to snow. You can’t stare at darkness, there’s’ nothing to see. There’s one thing I know about train journeys, and that’s if there is an old bloke in your compartment or the next seat he WILL speak to you, bored or otherwise. There’s no escape even if you don’t make eye contact, he’ll waffle about just about anything.
He said, son, I’ve made a life out of readin’ peoples faces,
And knowin’ what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey Ill give you some advice.
If we are to believe the first two lines of this verse then this bloke must have made an absolute fortune at the card tables of America, why then is he waffling to a loser on a shitty train bound for “nowhere” ? The second two lines prove my argument, he’s basically saying “you’re a loser, but you’re obviously doing better than me because you have whiskey, give me some and I’ll tell you how not to be a loser”
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 face lost all expression.
Said, if you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.
He then scrounges a cigarette as well the cheeky twat. The pearl of wisdom in the last line needs no explanation, do you know anyone who doesn’t want to learn how to do it right ?
You 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.
Now we get to the crux of the song, the chorus. This is where he imparts his killer poker wisdom that will allow the listener to run out and make a fortune. The first line encompasses the whole thing, if you can master that bit you’ll be a millionaire before you can say “Straight flush”. But he doesn’t tell us how, how do you know when to hold and when to fold ? Tell us oh wise one, because if you can’t this song is pretty much dead on its arse.
Now every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing 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.
So when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.
Again we are offered the blindingly obvious in place of decent advice and after imparting it the gambler drops dead. Still our listener seems to get something from the shit advice imparted by the bum. We’re then treated to a few repetitions of the chorus before it finally fades out, just in case we didn’t hear right the other three times. I’m surprised anyone in the US is still working; they must all be fucking rolling in it.
Well done Kenny, you’ve made a fortune out of a song that says fuck all to anyone. Ok, that’s not difficult; most of the shite that’s peddled these days is vacuous bollocks. This might be a recurring theme here.