Cowboy's Meaning Of A Deck Of Cards

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Meaning Of A Deck Of Cards

Mom often spoke of a song that she always held close to her heart being clueless when she would open up a card game she would explain to us as children which each card meant. Having believed she was nuts we were brought up believing that each card symbolized God's purpose and understanding. The other day we were having a discussion about the deck of cards and she told me there was a song about it and when she was a young mother she memorized those words took the meaning to heart and shared the story of the "Deck Of Cards" that was written and told by a famous cowboy named Copas. Every last song appears to be on youtube nowadays so I typed it in and looked it up there was the song Deck of Cards told and sung by Cowboy Copas. This song was written and based on a true story about a cowboy who was working on a round-up of cattle in the earlier years of America's frontier and it had been suggested that seemingly since they had all made it to the end of the drive safely they attend church and give thanks, everyone brought a Bible except one cowboy who brought a deck of cards. The foreman was livid because during that time having cards in a church was a sin. The cowboy proceeded to explain why he had the cards and so the story goes something like this;

A: Means there is but One God

2: Means it is divided into two parts; the old and the new testament

3: Means the father, the son and the holy spirit

4: Represents 4 evangelists who preached the Gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

5: Virgins who trimmed the lamb 5 were wise and saved, 5 were foolish and not allowed in

6: God Made Heaven and Earth

7: On the 7th day God rested

8: Means the 8 righteous people who were saved; Noah and his wife 3 sons, 3 wives

9: represents 9 leper's that were cleansed and 9 out of 10 did not Thank him

10: represents the 10 commandments that God had Moses write on stone tablets

K: represents there is one God in Heaven ; God almighty himself

Q: One blessed Virgin who is Mary

J: represents the Devil

When the number of places are counted on the card there are 365 days in a year;

52 cards which equal the amount of weeks in a year;

13 tricks number of weeks in a quarter;

4 suits the number of weeks in a month;

12 picture cards the number of month's in a year ;

those Deck of cards served this young cowboy as an almanac, Bible and prayer book hearing this from my mother growing up and finally listening to the song recited by Cowboy Copas makes me appreciate that playing cards is not a sin but a mere symbol of what the purpose of the deck of cards really means. This song was written as a tribute to Cowboy Copas' grandfather who was the young cowboy at that time, although others have had permission to sing it the words coming straight from the grandson who sings it is astounding. The next time you look at a deck of cards not only will you have fun playing cards but you will have learned something from them.

copyright © 2009


Comments 28 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Wow, Julianna! I love it! This is so fascinating as this is the first time I've ever heard of this. I can definitely used this info for a story, as a motif! Good luck on your 30/30 Hubchallenge! I know you can do it and will accomplish it!

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

dohn: Thank you!!! I enjoyed sharing a part of what my mother tried to instill in us, I have never looked at cards in the same way. You are welcome to use this info for a story you are a great writer Dohn. :)

ralwus 7 years ago

I remember that song too. Only the one I recall was by Tex Ritter, same thing. The soldiers preceding battle in the War of Aggression would always remove their playing cards rom their person for fear of being killed with them in their possession it was so evil. They never wanted Mom or Dad or the preacher to know how wicked they were plus the thought of meeting God like that was fearful to them. LOL thanks AE

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

ralwus: Wow!! I love hearing about that and it is funny playing cards are really not evil at all. Well how mom explained it they are not that way. :)

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Very clever! Thanks for sharing this fascinating way of looking at a pack of cards!

Love and peace


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

my grandmother might have allowed my mom to play cards if she'd known this song, haha.

ralwus 7 years ago

@Storytellersrus roflmao, yeah, my grandpa and grandma were old southern baptists and my mom used to make us hide cards if they came for a visit. LOL

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

yes this is great have seen it many times...thanks for the reminder...:O) Hugs

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

tonymac04: I am glad that you enjoyed and I am happy that i was a positive perception. :)

Storytellersrus: It was cute wasn't it? I wish you grandmother would have let your mom play cards too. :)

G-ma: You are so welcome ((Big Hugs)) :)

eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa


Nice to see you hubbing again. Missed your hubs.

Keep on hubbing!

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

eovery: Aahhh Thank you and yes I am back.:)

quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

Had Ralwus not spoken about Tex Ritter, I would have! Well, I know that story was true, because ... "I knew that soldier!"

fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa

What! This is so new to me - like I mean, new to me! This is very interesting, and very new to me. Now, I'm repeating myself - But its all so new to me, Jules!

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

quicksand: Now that is a wonderful story! How wonderful you knew that soldier!

fierchyj: It is o.k. all of us learn something new everyday and this one you can always keep in your pocket. ((Big Hugs))

GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

My favorite # is the #3 and I can see why now, how did you come up with this? What a creative writer you are.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Glstng: I love the story my mother taught us that is what made me stronger in the word and I realized as a child playing cards was not so bad after all. :)

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Interesting hub, AEvans. I learned to memorize the U.S. Presidents in a similar way. My mother taught me a nonsense phrase that used the first letter of the last name of each president. This was when I was a young boy, so it ended with President Coolidge. Here it is: "When A Jolly Man Makes A Jump Very High To Polk The Fire Poorly Burning Let Johnson Give Him Good Advice -- Cheer Him Cheer Mister Roosevelt To Win Harding's Cabinet." It works!

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

William: That is one I am going to teach our son that is something nice to remember! I like it! :)

dutchman1951 profile image

dutchman1951 7 years ago from Tennessee, USA

I liked this Hub a lot. Well done

Jon in Nashville.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

dutchman1951: Thanks! :)

GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

I love this!

gary t 7 years ago

i had a deck of cards with me at church today and the preacher was telling me how a deck of cards was a sign of evil, i thought of this song and came home to get that song on my mp3 player to show to him, and to look up where the idea that it was a sign of evil came from, funny thing is i found this by trying to find where the evil thing came from lol

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

gary t: It isn't evil at all my mother taught us about God through them. So just forgive him if you click on the highlighted "Deck of Cards" you will find the song or if you go to you tube. The writer and singer was Copas. I am so glad that God sent you here because a deck of cards is not evil , it is what lurks within ourselves that is. :)

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

This is realy cool.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Vladimir Uhri: Thank you , the meaning of the deck of cards has a very deep puprpose. :)

Mickey 4 years ago

This first came out around 1788

AEvans profile image

AEvans 4 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Mickey: Thank you. That is so nice to know.:)

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

I have this record, the song was written by "T"Texas Tyler and recorded by Tex Ritter in 1948, I don't know what year Cowboy Copas recorded it. I always loved it about a soldier away from home and how he always carried his deck of cards. I can't play it anymore it is an old 78 rpm record. I got the record in the late 50s and had a player at that time.

Voted up U/B/I and shared.

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