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The Gambler [Schlitz]

[Covers]

 

Lyrics

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

He said, son I've made my life out of reading people's faces
And knowing what the 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 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 face lost all expression
Said, if you're gonna play the game, boy, you gotta learn to play it right

You 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

Now, every gambler knows, the secret to survivin'
Is knowing what to throw away, knowing what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner and every hand's a loser
And the best you can hope for is to die in your sleep

So when he'd finished speakin', he turned back toward the window
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep
Then somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep

You 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

  Extra Links

iTunes [Rogers]
 

Notes

Song written by Don Schlitz in 1978 for country singer Kenny Rogers. The song won a Grammy in 1980 for best male country vocal performance.



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