Do you remember when this viral video first hit the airwaves and led to a hit movie based on the song?
“On a warm summer’s eve, on a train bound for nowhere, I met up with the gambler, and we were both too tired to sleep…”
And thus begins the saga of a lost wanderer learning life lessons from a seasoned old card shark.
Given that wise-looking older gentleman, Kenny Rogers is singing it; it becomes hard to tell which character in the song he’s meant to portray.
This powerful video brings the haunting story-song even more to life. Rogers, dressed in black as something akin to a riverboat gambler, only with a gun belt slung over his shoulder, starts the narrative.
The song begins slow and quiet. You feel like you’re there with Kenny and the old gambler talking alone on the train late at night. Then it builds to a crescendo and the unforgettable chorus. “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run…”
Indeed, there’s a universal life lesson in this timeless ballad that goes far beyond simple gambling tips. The lyrics remind us that every decision we make in life is a gamble. That’s part of what makes the tune so memorable all these years later.
As the song progresses, Kenny takes off his gun belt, removes his elegant coat, and takes a seat at a table all set up for an old-time game of Texas Hold ‘Em. He looks across the table like an old-timer who’s seen one game too many, and that’s the exact spirit of the song.
This video is pure magic. No wonder it’s been seen by over 4 million adoring viewers. Kenny Rogers is indeed a country music legend. Just listen to what some of the viewers had had to say: “This reminded me of Sunday afternoons when I was a kid when my grandparents would visit. My dad used to always listen to the local radio station and Sunday afternoons had a bit of Country & Western…it brings back great memories…”
“I’d give anything if today’s newer country artists sounded this good. I’ve given up on country radio.”
“Some of the best advice you can get for life. Brought to you by a voice that sounds like a cup of tea with honey!”
The old iron horse is pulling out, and there’s a seat at the table for you. Climb aboard and let Kenny Rogers serenade you with the story of “The Gambler” by clicking the video below. Then share it with your friends and loved ones. Good luck!
And you, of course, remember this other foot-tapping rendition Kenny performed for Hee Haw. Just another side of Kenny: