Kenny Rogers

The gambler

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

He said, son, I've made a life
out of reading people's faces,
knowing what the cards were
by the way they held their eyes
So if you don't mind me saying
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 faced lost all expression
He said, if you're gonna play the game, boy,
you gotta learn to play it right.

You've 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 sitting at the table
There'll be time enough for counting
when the dealing's done.

Every gambler knows
that the secret to surviving
is knowing 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.

And when he finished speaking,
he turned back toward the window,
crushed out his cigarette
and faded off to sleep
And somewhere in the darkness
the gambler he broke even
And in his final words
I found an ace that I could keep.

Chorus (x3)

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