"The Gambler" as written by and Nathaniel Joseph/dost Ruess....
Slow down, we've got time left to be lazy
All the kids have bloomed from babies into flowers in our eyes.
We've got fifty good years left to spend out in the garden
I don't care to beg your pardon,
We should live until we die.

We were barely 18 when we crossed collective hearts.
It was cold, but it got warm when you barely crossed my eye.
And then you turned, put out your hand,
And you asked me to dance.
I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight.

I swear when I grow up, I won't just buy you a rose.
I will buy the flower shop, and you will never be lonely.
Even if the sun stopped waking up over the fields
I will not leave, I will not leave 'till it's our time.
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side.

It was the winter of '86, all the fields had frozen over.
So we moved to Arizona to save our only son
And now he's turning to a man, though he thinks just like his mother,
He believes we're all just lovers he sees hope in everyone.

And even though she moved away,
We always get calls from our daughter.
She has eyes just like her father's
They are blue when skies are grey
And just like him, she never stops,
Never takes the day for granted,
Works for everything that's handed to her,
Never once complains.

You think that I nearly lost you
When the doctors tried to take you away.
But like the night you took my hand beside the fire
Thirty years ago to this day
You swore you'd be here 'til we decide that it's our time
Well it's not time, you've never quit in all your life.
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side.
You're the love of my life, you know that I will never leave your side.

You come home from work and you kiss me on the eye
You curse the dogs, you say that I should never feed them what is ours.
And so we move out to the garden and look at everything we've grown.
And now the kids are coming home
So I'll set the table
You can make the fire


Lyrics submitted by SomthinCorporat, edited by amyevans, Iwillbyyou, NovmberBlu, gunflair, beaversk, AlexzaE, [delete me], whereisthelove, Quangshine

"The Gambler" as written by Jack Antonoff Andrew Dost

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Gambler song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentYeah, definitely a song about his Mom and Dad but through his mother's eyes. It tells their entire story how they met and then explains that Nate has a sister (which unless I'm wrong was never described in any other song) and then about Mr. Reuss' battle with cancer or some other disease. This song alone is a testament to the power of music, and Nate sits at the forefront of lyrical talent. Here's a guy who can spill his soul's deepest emotions through words that string together so perfectly that all these wannabe's on the radio could never dream of matching this guy. God bless him for not letting The Format breaking up end his career.. the world needs more artists like him. Let's pray he never hits the radio or MTV- he's too amazing to be dubbed another fad.
    musicisallyouneedon September 01, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis sounds like a song about Nate's parents. They are talking about their lives, their kids, etc.
    Maelglonon July 01, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's missing: "So we move out to the garden, look like everything we've owned (or grown)" in the last verse.
    Maelglonon July 01, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis whole song is a beautiful, simple description of a love that is just that-- beautiful and simple, but lasting for years of marriage. i think my favorite part is how it ends... the last line doesn't quite sound like it should be the end of the song musically, so it leaves you feeling like it's going to continu even after the song is through.
    cluelesslymoion September 25, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTruly a beautiful song.


    "I swear when I grow up, I won't just buy you a rose.
    I will buy the flower shop, and you will never be lonely.
    Even if the sun stops waking up over the fields
    I will not leave, I will not leave 'till it's our time.
    So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side."

    Although simple, that's one of the most romantic verses I've ever read. I want to race home and shout that to my girfriend right now, but I'm at work right now :-(
    tommyhaychon March 25, 2010   Link
  • +3
    MemoryI listened to "On Your Porch" by The Format and instantly remembered this song! Both songs talk about when Nate's dad got sick. I went to one of their concerts a couple of months ago, and when Nate sang the part, "I swear when I grow up, I won't just buy you a rose.." someone in the audiece threw a bouqet of roses to him. He laughed and said, "My dad bought my mom an actual flower shop... so what I'm trying to say is that this isn't f***ing good enough." Funniest and Best moment of my life.. Gotta love Nate! P.S. He also dedicated the song to Andrew's parents, who were in the audience that night :)
    somenightson December 09, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe song is a story of Nate's parents and how they fell in love. As far as the point of view, he tells the tale from both his mother and father's view. When he takes the high tone it's his dad's dialogue, when he sings calmly it's his mom's dialogue. Also, his father has been struggling with health, not his mother.

    One of the best songs I've heard in a while. Beautiful too.
    SharcEllison March 25, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen Nate was in The Format he did a cover of The Lottery Song and there's a line that says "if life is but a gamble, gamble if you want to win."
    and i think that's why it's called The Gambler. Because Nate's parents "gambled" so to speak, and they ended up winning (and maybe go as far to say they won because of how beautiful their children are, as the song does begin with the kids, have a middle section about the kids, and then end with the kids.)
    beautiful, beautiful song
    jumpsharkon August 20, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard! "I knew nothing of romance but it was love at second sight. I swear when I grow up I won't just buy you a rose I will buy the flower shop and you will never be lonely" Sooo romantic!!! To me It sounds like a story of two people's life together and apparently it's about nate's parents. I think that makes it even sweeter that he wrote a song about how his parents met!!
    midnightzoneon December 28, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyes, this song is definitely about the relationship between his parent's through one of their eyes (his mother's it seems). it is so real and so beautiful. i cried the first time i heard it. the reference to his father getting seriously sick is the same as the one from the format's "on your porch." the little section after the 30 years line is so sweet. he sings it like he knows what it's like for them. maybe this is a tribute to the love he has been surrounded by all his life.
    mind_explosionson July 26, 2009   Link

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