Lyrics & MP3 Copy
of Studio Recording:
The Gambler
Written by Don Schlitz
Recorded by Frank McKinnon


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

He said,
"Son, I've made a lifetime
out of readin' peoples' faces;
knowin' what their cards were
by the way they held their eyes.
So, if you mind my sayin',
I can see your 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 cigerette
and asked me for a light.
The night got deathly quiet,
and his face lost all expression.
He said, "If you're
gonna play the game, boy,
you gotta learn to play it right."

You gotta 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
while your sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for
countin' when the dealin's done.

And every gambler knows
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.
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 cigerette,
and faded off to sleep.
Somewhere in the darkness,
the gambler, he broke even.
In his final words,
I found an ace that I could keep.



MP3 Copy of Studio Recording
Recorded in 2022

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[MP3 Copy of Studio Recording]