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10 songs about Las Vegas you’ve never heard of — VIDEO

Lyrical references and songs about Las Vegas are about as common as anything in music. Most Las Vegans love or at least are familiar with classics like Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas,” Sinatra’s “Luck be a Lady” and Barry Manilow’s “Here’s to Las Vegas.”

But beyond the most famous Vegas tunes exist dozens of lesser-known songs worth a listen. Here’s a list of 10 songs about Las Vegas you might not have heard of.

WARNING: Songs marked with a * contain graphic language. 

“Lucky Too” by Bob Neuwirth

“It was Christmas in Las Vegas, when the locals take the town. Theresa hit a streak and laid her waitress’ apron down.”

A song about Christmas in Las Vegas takes place at the Gold Spike on Fremont Street. Released in 1996, it’s the ultimate tale about winning and “quitting” while you’re ahead.

“Vegas” by Clubstrophobia*

“If you’re going to Vegas leave all your worries behind. If you’re going to Vegas be ready to turn on a dime.”

A small group from Norway perhaps best captured a musical feel of both the Las Vegas of old and new in their 2003 song. The music video is particularly fascinating, too, and earned a nomination for Best Music Video by the British Animation Awards in 2004.

“Queen of Las Vegas” by the The B-52s

“Oh, your father was a one-eyed jack of hearts, with diamonds and an ace up his sleeve. Let me tell you I got the system. I got the plan, I got the plan.”

A girl asks her dying mother for advice about gambling, seeking advice from the Queen Of Las Vegas, herself. Or is the entire song a metaphor for a woman so hooked in gambling, that queens, jacks and aces have already become family?

Though the wordplay in the 1983 hit can be interpreted in a variety of ways, one thing’s for sure: being the Queen of Las Vegas is not an easy task.

“Vegas Two Times” by Stereophonics*

The Welsh rock band makes reference to the now-closed Studio 54 and Crazy Horse Too in their 2010 jam about a wild time in Sin City and a strong desire to return.

“Now we’re leaving Las Vegas two times. Crazy Horse Too spent us dry. Vietnam vet taxi ride. Las Vegas.”

“Las Vegas Turnaround” by Hall & Oates

“Sara’s off on a turnaround. Flying gambling fools to the holy land, Las Vegas. Sometimes she’s here and sometimes she can’t be found.”

Playing off a musical turnaround in their 1973 hit, Hall & Oates describe the turnaround of Sara, who’s living it up in Las Vegas.

“40 Miles to Vegas” by Southern Culture on the Skids*

This 1997 country rock song about a drive to the Las Vegas Valley that gets “busted and broken down,” 40 miles away. Picked up by a tow truck driver “high on crack,” the traveler worries his dreams of  “eight balls and one-eyed jacks” might be in jeopardy.

“40 miles from Vegas and we all started prayin’. I’ve been givin’ what the road’s been takin”

“Jesus in Vegas” by Chumbawamba*

“My good friend Sinatra on my right, Andrew Lloyd Webber is doing the lights. It’s twice a night for twenty five nights.”

In a nod to classic Vegas residencies, the British one-hit-wonder known for “Tubthumping,” actually made a few other songs, including this one about the Strip, released in 2000. A good song, too.

“Vegas” by Sara Bareilles

“Gonna sell my car and go to Vegas, cause somebody told me that’s where dreams would be. Gonna sell my car and go to Vegas, finally see my name upon the Palace marquis.”

The 2007 hit from Sara Bareilles perhaps reflects the mindset of millions of Americans and people around the world that also wish they lived in Las Vegas.

“Little Chapel” by Heather Myles featuring Dwight Yoakam

“We’re goin’ to the Little Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip, where the preacher looks like Elvis. We could even strike it rich.”

The 2002 country ballad is filled with references to the Strip and Vegas culture, where “life is a gamble, but our love’s a sure bet.”

“Las Vegas, Nevada” by Andrew W.K.

“Unholy passion in a timeless night, you came to win. Who can resist the sin in Las Vegas?”

The instrumentals from the 2006 rock song incorporates familiar sounds from Las Vegas casinos and gaming machines, and the lyrics say it all.

Contact Chris Kudialis at ckudialis@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @kudialisRJ

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