Song lyrics in the real world: Ace of Spades (Motörhead)

The Dead Man's Hand, with a prominent Ace of Spades
The Dead Man’s Hand, with a prominent Ace of Spades

Pushing up the ante, I know you’ve got to see me,
Read ’em and weep, the dead man’s hand again,
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die,
The only thing you see, you know it’s gonna be,
The Ace Of Spades
The Ace Of Spades

Motörhead’s signature song is full of gambling references as well as Lemmy’s distorted bass and raspy vocals, and the last verse contains a mysterious reference to the Dead Man’s Hand. According to legend, when Wild Bill Hickock was shot in South Dakota in 1876 while playing poker, he was holding a pair of black aces and a pair of black 8’s (legends don’t agree on the fifth card). Wikipedia also details multiple variations of the hand, with Wild Bill being a late tie in to the legend, so it’s probably as authentic as a dozen nails from the crucifixion, but as they say “If it ain’t true, it ought to be!”

Still, it’s a cool legend from the era of outlaws and shady heroes. And the song kicks ass too! Put your horns up and rock out now.


Jean-Frederic Vachon
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