The Red Deck of Cards

Performed by Red River Dave
Recorded 1954
Written by Dave McEnery

It was during the last days of the prisoner exchange in Korea,
I was there as they came through Freedom Gate. Shattered, sick and lame.
There in a red cross tent as the weary group rested, a soldier broke out a deck of cards.
A look of hate crossed the tired face of one boy as he sprang up - knocking the cards to the ground.
As the cards lay around, many of them face up, he picked up the Ace and began.

"Fellows," he said, "I'm sorry, but I hate cards.
The commies tried to use them to teach us their false doctrine.

They told us the "ACE", meant that there's one God, the state.
We knew that to be untrue for we were religious boys"

"And the "DEUCE" meant there were two great leaders.
Only two. Lenin and Stalin. And we couldn't swallow that either."

"And this "TREY" stood for three religious superstitions that the Reds would soon destroy.
The Catholic, the Protestants and the Jewish."

This black "FOUR", the soldier boy continued, stood for the four corners of the earth,
where the Hammer and Sickle would soon rein supreme.
There in that prison camp, far away from home, we hoped it was a lie.

And this red "FIVE", was the five points in their Red Star.
Tears were streaming down the boy's face, as he picked up the six.

And this "SIX", the commies told us, stood for the sixth and final wars that America had luckily won.
The Revolutionary war, the war of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American war, WW1, and number six - WW2.
Now in this war, this cold war, America would be destroyed.

And the "SEVEN", stood for our seventh foolish day, Sunday, which we wasted on our Lord.

The "EIGHT", stood for the 8 hours every day we would have to spend learning to be, uh, progressive.

The "NINE", for the cat-of-nine tails, lashed across our backs if we ever knelt to pray.

The "TEN", was reminded us that out ten commandments, were ten stupid rules that only Capitalistic fools believed in.
That's what they told us.

The "JACK" meant that Christ was a knave of uncertain birth.

The "QUEEN", that maybe his mother was a non-virtuous woman.

And the "KING", stood for our Lord God whom the commies told us didn't not exist.
A dream, a fake, a joke. That's what they told us.

The Heart stood for Christ's blood, all shed in vain.
The Diamond signified the real precious jewel, the communist party.
The Club - the weapon of oppression with which they beat us.
And the Spade - a tool with which we would dig our own graves.

This was the Red Deck of Cards.

So you see fellows, the soldier boy said, that's why I hate cards.
His buddies picked up the cards tore them into pieces and with shining faces,
walked arm-in-arm toward a simple chapel in Korea.

[lyrics transcribed by listening. Send corrections via the contact link on the main page]