Written by: James Paines, 349th Harbor Craft, US Army
On the 25th of July
That's what it would have been at home
But we'd crossed the International Date Line
The time was close to midnight
Everything was going right
I'd just drawn a king hight club flush
In a poker game that night.
When we heard the Japaro's whistle
Then another, and another call
The call to general quarters
And we started one and all,.
It was a liberty we were meeting
Or some ship of the sort
And she made a starboard turn
When she should have made a port.
Then came the awful crash
About side ship it seemed
And everyone was startled
As though awakening from a dream.
The libert ship had rammed us
And or ship was sinking fast
We wondered if she's stay afloat
Or was this to be our last.
Every man was at his station
And everything was quiet
We were waiting for the order
To abandon ship that night
Most everyone was praying
Their sailor prayers were heard
Our Maker was there to guide us
For the order wasn't heard
Eighteen hundred men aboard
And we didn't lose a man
So you can bet your life
That our Savior was at hand
He must have been two Gods
To where we are today
We're safe and being repaired
And we'll soon be underway
Some say that life's a gamble
I'm inclined to believe they're right
For we played a lot of poker
With our lives at stake that night
I have played a lot of poker
On sea and on the land
And that's the only game I know
Where each man had a winning hand.
----- James Paines
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