Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

You Will See Playing Cards Differently After Listening to Tex Ritter’s “The Deck of Cards”

by

In 1948, Tex Ritter released his cover of the recitation song “The Deck of Cards” that was popularized in the fields of both country and popular music. It then reached No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.

“The Deck of Cards” was actually first released by T. Texas Tyler, and it became a hit in the United States, reaching No. 2 on the same chart that same year.

Playing Cards Now Came With Different Meanings

Written by T. Texas Tyler himself, “The Deck of Cards” relates the tale of a young American soldier who was arrested and charged with playing cards during a church service. The song is set during World War II, where a group of U.S. Army soldiers arrived and camped near the little town called Casino after a long hike during The North African war.

When Sunday morning came, some soldiers went to the church. However, while those with prayer books took them out, one man has only a deck of playing cards. He pulled them out and spread them in front of him. He was immediately spotted by a sergeant, who believed the soldier was playing cards in church and ordered him to put them away. 

After the services, the soldier was then arrested and taken before the Provost Marshal to be judged. The Provost Marshal demanded an explanation, and the soldier said that he had been on a long march without a bible or a prayer book. He then explained the significance of each card.

For instance, he said the ace in the deck cards reminds him there is but one God, while the deuce tells him that the Bible is divided into two parts: the old and new testament. When he sees the King, he knows there’s one King of heaven, and that’s God the Almighty, while the Queen made him think of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He also described the other ten cards.

The young soldier ended the explanation with the statement, “So you see, Sir, my pack of cards serve me as a Bible, almanac, and prayer book.” The narrator of the song, on the other hand, closes the story by saying. “Friends, I know this story is true because I knew that soldier.”

Though Tyler wrote the spoken-word piece, the earliest known reference can be found in a book that belonged to Mary Bacon – a wife of a British farmer – dated April 20, 1762. The book was called Mary Bacon’s World, and it tells the story of the soldier in full. During the 19th-century, the folk story was later recorded in a British publication entitled “The Soldier’s Almanack, Bible and Prayer Book.” 

“The Deck of Cards” was also covered by several artists, including Red Sovine in his 1967 album Phantom 309. Country music singer Bill Anderson also released his version in 1991. Since the United States was involved in the Gulf War at the time, the lyrics in Anderson’s version were modified to have the soldier’s story take place there instead of the original World War II setting.

Anyway, you can listen to Tex Ritter’s incredible cover of “The Deck of Cards” in the video below.

Latest Stories

Hank Williams - Hey Good Lookin'

Hank Williams’ Relatable Charm in “Hey, Good Lookin’” 

When Hank Williams arrived in 1949 in Nashville, he didn’t wait long to become one of the biggest stars in country music. A year later until 1951, he enjoyed the ...

Cavendish Beach Musical Festival 2024

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024Festival Duration:July 5-7, 2024Venue:Route 6 Ranch in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, CanadaPerformers Include:Brothers Osborne, Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here ...

Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic 2024

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024Festival Duration:July 4, 2024Venue:Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, New JerseyPerformers Include:Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and moreTicket Information:Get Your ...

Travis Tritt + Help Me Hold On

Travis Tritt Begs His Lover For One More Chance In “Help Me Hold On”

Country singer Travis Tritt scored his first number-one hit with his second release from his 1990 debut album Country Club titled “Help Me Hold On.” He co-wrote it with accomplished ...

Carrie Underwood Falls Off Stage on Tail End of South Carolina Concert

Carrie Underwood Rocks Carolina Country Music Fest Despite Rain

Country singer Carrie Underwood graced the last day stage of the Carolina Country Music Fest 2024 in Myrtle Beach and delivered one hell of a performance despite the massive downpour. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Seeks Annulment on Grounds of Fraud

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Cites Fraud

American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus reached a breaking point with Australian singer Firerose just after seven months of marriage. According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Billy ...

Travis Tritt + Best of Intentions

Travis Tritt Made A Career Comeback With “Best of Intentions”

It was 2000, and it had been six years since Travis Tritt hit the top of the charts and three since his last appearance in the Top 10. The first ...

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Johnny Cash + Forty Shades of Green

“Forty Shades of Green”: Johnny Cash’s Ode to Ireland

Country legend Johnny Cash released an ode to Ireland appreciating its beauty with “Forty Shades of Green” as part of his album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash ...

1 thought on “You Will See Playing Cards Differently After Listening to Tex Ritter’s “The Deck of Cards””

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.