As one of the most famous cities in the world, it’s not hard to find many songs written about Las Vegas with many odes being written to it over its long history.
Vegas is a place where people go to live out their wildest fantasies, tempt fate, and win. There are strong emotions and memorable experiences associated with Las Vegas for some people. And, for others, it’s simply a nice warm vacation spot where they can enjoy the city’s bad-boy reputation without taking any serious risks themselves.
Any way you cut it, Vegas is the stuff songs are made of. From country ballads to rock anthems and everything in between, it’s fair to say that Las Vegas’ place in musical history is solid.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best songs about Vegas!
1. “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
One of the best-known songs about Las Vegas, “Viva Las Vegas”, was recorded in 1963 and released in 1964, during the golden years of Las Vegas’ popularity.
People ventured there to gamble, drink, and get married on a whim. The city stood in direct contrast to the conservative social values of mainstream America, but those values were beginning to shift.
The song is featured in the movie by the same name, starring Elvis as a man who goes on a Vegas adventure, hoping to make his dreams come true and win the heart of the girl he loves.
It’s a classic movie and is generally known as one of Elvis’ best performances.
2. “Waking Up in Vegas” by Katy Perry
“Waking Up in Vegas” by Katy Perry is a song that describes a couple’s wild weekend in Vegas. They wake up hungover, broke, and confused about the goings-on of the previous evening.
He’s wearing his class ring, and they think they may have gotten married. Eventually, they come to terms with their circumstances and decide to roll with the punches.
The lyrics “Wake up and shake the glitter off your clothes now. That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas” serve as a cautionary take for those who decide to indulge in all the city’s excesses.
There’s no doubt that you can have a lot of fun in Vegas; just be sure you can handle whatever consequences come with it!
3. “Sin City” by AC/DC
AC/DC’s power-rock style is perfect for a song about a hard-partying city like Las Vegas. If you ever plan to drive down the Vegas strip, windows down, taking in all the lights, then “Sin City” is a fantastic song to play while you do it.
The lyrics aren’t anything out of the ordinary for a song about Las Vegas; It’s all about the opulent lifestyle of the city: diamonds, caviar, Lamborghinis. It’s a very worldly song about a very materialistic town.
Still, the singer doesn’t seem to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by what he sees around him. He is determined to win and have all these things for himself.
4. “Luck Be a Lady” by Frank Sinatra
Although Frank Sinatra passed away in 1998, he lives on as one of music’s biggest stars, and his recordings are classics that will still be appreciated for generations to come.
While Sinatra did not write the song and was not the first to record it, “Luck Be a Lady” is one of his signature songs and his unique voice and personality made his version an enduring favorite.
The song compares luck to a woman who can be sweet sometimes and mean other times. Sinatra begs her to be a lady to him as he tries his luck at the gambling table.
Because of its dual meanings and catchy tune, “Luck Be a Lady” is one song that is inextricably tied to Las Vegas.
5. “Las Vegas Nights” by Hootie and the Blowfish
While this piece isn’t directly about Las Vegas, the city is mentioned in the song’s opening words, and it makes the listener want to know more about the story behind it.
In the song, a man is pursuing a woman he is or was in a relationship with, asking her not to go to the train station. He talks about how he wants another chance to show her how good it could be for them.
Presumably, the woman in the song has ended the relationship, and when “Las Vegas nights are calling,” she decides to run off to Vegas to blow off steam and possibly start a new life for herself.
6. “Vegas Lights” by Panic! At the Disco
Like many movies, books, and songs, “Vegas Lights” by Panic! At the Disco explores the darker side of nightlife in Las Vegas and themes of existential angst and dissatisfaction with life.
A party town like Las Vegas might seem like an odd place to engage in deep thinking and personal transformation.
But this song seems to portray that participating in – or just observing – all the city’s excesses gets people thinking about the true meaning of life.
7. “Let’s Go to Vegas” by Faith Hill
You don’t have to look too hard into the meaning of the upbeat tune “Let’s Go to Vegas” by 90’s country queen Faith Hill.
In it, she’s inviting her romantic interest to take a trip to Vegas with her so that they could do what couples have historically done in that city – get hitched!
She compares taking the plunge to rolling the dice. You never know how it will turn out, but you have to take the chance if you want to win the big prize.
The country songs of that era tended to be fun, flirty, and memorable, and this one checks all the boxes.
8. “Ooh Las Vegas” by Gram Parsons
“Ooh Las Vegas” by Gram Parsons makes getting ruined in Vegas sound like fun! He sings about Vegas being no place for a poor boy like him because it entices him to spend all his money drinking and gambling.
With its guitar picking, country rhythm, and soulful vocals, this song is a quick-paced anthem to the wild times in the City of Sin.
Parsons was a well-known songwriter and musician who played multiple instruments.
While this song addresses common themes associated with Las Vegas, the composition and the talented musicians featured make it stand apart from the crowd.
9. “Here’s to Las Vegas” by Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow has always been about big, dramatic songs, and “Here’s to Las Vegas” is no different.
Manilow performed in Vegas for many years, which is possibly when he first performed “Here’s to Las Vegas.” This tune sounds a lot like something you’d hear in an ad for a Vegas casino hotel.
The lyrics cheer on the winners, describe the dazzling lights of the Strip and honor the many great performers who have graced the stages of Vegas’ many entertainment spots.
It’s a little over the top, but who would expect anything else from Manilow?
10. “Big in Vegas” by Buck Owens
“Big in Vegas” is a song by country legend Buck Owens and is all about people’s expectations and goals when they come to Vegas to be an entertainer.
It’s a slow, sad song about how dreams don’t always line up with reality.
At the song’s beginning, he tells about his youthful determination to go to Vegas and make it big, although his mother felt that he was wrong to take the chance.
He goes on to describe playing bars and clubs, struggling, and holding on to hope despite not getting the big break he had wanted.
11. “Pretty Vegas” by INXS
“Pretty Vegas” by INXS is a song that starts off with a mention of someone thumbing their way to Vegas. This person has ideas of starting over in the city, but things don’t always turn out as planned.
You may also find your morals challenged in a place like Vegas, being expected to do some sketchy things to move up the ladder.
In Vegas, just like everywhere else, success takes hard work, making the right connections, and not losing yourself along the way.
The lyrics “If you think you want it, here’s the place to get it, but it ain’t pretty” nicely sums up the idea of this dilemma. You can get what you want in Vegas, but is it worth the price?
12. “Vegas” by Sara Barielles
“Vegas” by Sara Bareilles is about dissatisfaction with everyday living and the longing for a better tomorrow.
She describes someone wanting to make huge life changes because they’re tired of having no fame and no money. They want to go to Vegas, where they feel they can live their dreams and finally be happy.
It’s hard to tell whether the song is a celebration of this kind of adventurous spirit or a criticism of the discontentment that often spurs it.
Still, it is a well-written, easy-to-listen-to song that covers many typical Las Vegas themes.
13. “Las Vegas Turnaround” (The Stewardess Song) by Hall and Oates
And to finish, we have Hall and Oates who were one of the most popular bands of the 1980s.
While their song “Las Vegas Turnaround” (The Stewardess Song ) was not one of their biggest hits, it is an appropriate song for this list.
It’s about a flight attendant -once known as a stewardess – who flies to ‘The holy land Las Vegas” on planes full of “gambling fools.”
She’s his love interest, and he waits for her, praying for days when there are unexpected flight delays, and they can be together. Perhaps he is worried she’ll fall for one of the passengers, maybe a guy who won big.
We never find out what happens to this star-crossed couple, but the song gives plenty of room for imagination.
Summing Up Our List Of Las Vegas Songs
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this musical tour of Sin City.
There’s so much to be said about Las Vegas, thirteen songs can barely hold it all.
What are your favorite songs about Vegas? Find some more for yourself and see if you get lucky!