Kenny Rogers – "The Gambler" – The Meanspeed-Carlton Tempo Analysis of this Song at the Speed of Renewal

Speed summary, calibration by Ian Schneider, supervised by Sophia St. John Newman. James C.C. Manning is on vacation. Sarah Jane Bristol is at an undisclosed location on Wikipedia headquarters on a secret mission–more secret than the president, even!


Kenny-Rogers-The-Gambler-instantaneous-speed-map-and average-tempo-line_2
Kenny-Rogers-The-Gambler-instantaneous-speed-map-and average-tempo-line_2
Kenny-Rogers-The-Gambler-instantaneous-speed-map-and average-tempo-line
Kenny-Rogers-The-Gambler-instantaneous-speed-map-and average-tempo-line



song=”The Gambler”
performer=Kenny Rogers
beats per trial=301
mean time=3 minutes, 24.88 seconds
average beat=682 milliseconds
mean speed=88.2 beats per minute
meanemotion according to meanspeed music theory=renewal

As a more important news issue of the day than even – yes – the speed of Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler – the ultra-diabolical Chinese regime that now has the worst elements of capitalism and dictatorship in one place, a country we as the West are laying down to die in front of, locks people up for – get this – advocating freedom of thought and freedom of expression. It is ONLY in this cowardly light of the United States – or is it practical–there are, uh, 4 billion of them and 40,000 Americans actually willing to fight? The rest of this post is NR-17, so children, read no further if you are sexually squeamish or believe that the Chinese regime are “friends” of freedom.

The other day I was watching an episode of NBC‘s The Office where all the co-workers are traveling by bus to a company picnic. The socioeconomically and racially diverse work-group sings the Kenny Rogers’ signature song, “The Gambler.” Fun scene indeed, and the song stands the test of time.

Unlike modern drum machine songs, Kenny is recording hands free live in the studio, allowing for full use of speed changes that we simply do not see anymore. The song has a rhythmic time signature in a country 2-step, and begins at the cheery speed of enthusiasm, and spends most of its speed in the renewal range. This is pretty cool: when the gambler starts to whisper his special words of advice – which, in fact, turn out to be common knowledge and so, by karma, I think, the gambler dies in his sleep–after swallowing that of a Kenny Rogers’ (THE Kenny Rogers, not the rage attack prone baseball pitcher with a habit of beating up photographers and video crews) “last swallow” of whiskey while “bum[ming] a cigarette” and “asking for a light” – at which point in the song, if one was listening to the LYRICS instead of the MELODY, we’d know that the gambler was not passing on advice but hustling big time. After all, he passes on advice which is classic Restatement of the Obvious: “Every gambler knows, that the secret to surviving is knowing what cards to throw away and knowing what to keep.” Wow. I have never gambled in my life and I know this, and one of a Kenny Rogers, on a train where he, rocking stud he has always been since his 1960s hit “I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In,” an LSD tribute song used to perfection by Joel and Ethan Coen in a film masterpiece of snarky comedy: THE BIG LEBOWSKI, that he and the gambler are “too tired to sleep.” SO: One would kinda think that Kenny would have known the “Know when to hold em, know when to fold em” bit *already* – and as for the “it’s not the cards in your hand, it’s how you play them” message–well, save that for the “it’s not the size of the ship, it’s the motion in the ocean” set of trite yet face-saving lies we tell. Or as we men have been taught, once your woman goes down the “not the size of the ship” route, time to pack your bags before things get ugly – and even smaller, or so I’ve been told.

declassified for public use by matherton,