Deck of Cards, a Soldier's song and Bible

The Deck of Cards


The deck of cards.

A hub friend recently published a hub explaining the Christmas carol ‘the twelve days of Christmas.’ It reminded me of an old song about a young soldier who was arrested by his platoon sergeant for having a deck of cards on display in church.

There are many different versions of this song including versions by Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, Red Sovine and many others. It was a chart record in the UK in the early sixties, but I can't remember who recorded it. It is a moving tale and one that is a lesson for us all not to jump to conclusions too quickly in case we’ve jumped the wrong way.

The song begins with an explanation of the events; the war zone seems to change depending on which artiste is performing it, from Monte Casino in the Second World War to Saigon in the Vietnamese conflict. That is not as important as the message it has to offer.

He is marched before his commanding officer who like the sergeant takes a very dim view of the soldier showing the cards in church. They demand an explanation and warn of the dire consequences if the excuse is not a very good one.

So, the young soldier tells his story beginning with the fact that he has been out on patrol and had not a bible just a pack of cards for comfort.

He begins his explanation; sir when I look at the ace it reminds me that there is but one God, when I see the deuce it reminds that the bible is divided into two parts, when I see the three it reminds me of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Slowly he works through the entire deck and then to the facts about the pack itself, there are 365 spots, the number of days in a year, there are 52 cards the number of weeks in a year, there are four suits the number of weeks in a month, twelve picture cards the number of months in a year.

So you see sir my deck of cards has served me as a prayer book, a Bible, and an Almanac. The charge against the soldier was dismissed.


Tex Ritter

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Comments 17 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Hi, Tony

Love this song. It was Wink Martindale who released it in the UK in the 60's. I have it on a Reader's Digest compilation LP box set.

Off to put the LP on now! :)


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Hi Gordon,

That's the fellow, I had it in my mind it was 'DAle Martin'. Not so far away, not much.

thanks for the comment hope you had your hanky handy:)


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

WOW this is a very interesting hub on the song The Deck of Cards, i never heard this before so thanks for making a hub about it . Great video, this is the first time i hear this song .


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Fascinating. Voting up.


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Hi KAsh,

thanks for calling in, it was your idea. thanks

Hi Rod, thanks for the vote, it certainly takes me back to my youth. cheers


eregouf profile image

eregouf 5 years ago from Salem MA

Thatis a great song that I had never heard before. Thsnks for hubbing it!


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Hi eregouf

many thanks for your comment, always important as you know. I'm pleased you liked it.

Tony


stessily 4 years ago

Tony, Thank you for covering this song. I think that I heard it once a while back. It's nice to be reminded of this allegorical song which is quite effective.

Kind regards, Stessily


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

HI Stessily,

they don't write them like that anymore! Is that good or bad? My Mum loved this song, over here it was covered by a guy called, Wink Martindale, I don't think he managed anything else. hey ho.

so it's great to hear from you, best wishes Tony


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

He was a clever soldier, that one, worthy of a commission: a man who can think on his feet and come up with a solution in the face of overwhelming odds! A man with a versatile mind, that's why they let him off. A born survivor and lucky with it. Every soldier respects a man with luck and brains, as long as they don't think they're too special themselves - that would spoil it!


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

alan, thank you for your comment and visit; it always helps to be mentally agile. Maybe this guy was sincere, there are some people still who would qualify for that; none of them politicians of course.

cheers


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

We don't pay politicians for sincerity. They just provide a weird sort of entertainment for punters with a weird sense of humour - might be something to do with the education they had.

What part of Tykeshire do you come from, Tony?


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

alan, Bradford originally, but reside in Brighouse now. What about you?

How long is it since you took your missionary work to the south, I assume you are some sort of missionary, perhaps taking humour, or politness to those from that place.


Derdriu 4 years ago

Tony, What an endearing, moving, touching recounting of an enduring truth within a straightforward story and song! In particular, I like how you so succinctly and persuasively told of the almanacal, Biblical and prayerful implications of the cards. Additionally, it's always welcome to have an appropriate video, particularly by a classic singer such as Tex Ritter.

Thank you for sharing, voted up + all.

Respectfully, Derdriu


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Derdriu

I don't know how true the story is, because I've seen it shifted to several different war zones, but that is not the important point.

AS always I appreciate your comments and votes.

regards

Tony


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend we are linked up and SHARING !

Have great rest of the week and a awesome weekend !


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Hi Kashmir,

how it should be, friends helping each other.

take care

Tony

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