Friday, March 15, 2024

Gambling in lyrics by Robert Hunter and by Taylor Swift

Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter often mentioned gambling, as in "Loser" ("I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines" – "Garcia", 1971) or "Scarlet Begonias" ("In the thick of the evening when the dealing got rough / She was too pat to open and too cool to bluff" – "From the Mars Hotel", 1974). Taylor Swift's occasional gambling images are usually figurative, as in "Foolish One": "My cards are on the table, yours are in your hand" ("Speak Now (Taylor's Version), 2023). But "Cornelia Street" mentions "card sharks" ("Lover", 2019), and in "the last great american dynasty", Rebekah blows money "on card game bets with Dalí" ("folklore", 2020). (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 15 March 2024)

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