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Johnny Cash
 You're here » Music Lyrics Index » C » Johnny Cash » At San Quentin (live) » A Boy Named Sue Lyrics

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Johnny Cash
Album: At San Quentin (live)
Track: A Boy Named Sue

A Boy Named Sue Lyrics

(Shel Silverstein)
© '68 Evil Eye Music, BMI

Well my daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to Ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze
Now I don't blame him because he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left he went and named me Sue

Well he must have thought it was quite a joke
And it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks
It seems I had to fight my whole life through
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head
I tell ye life ain't easy for a boy named Sue

Well I grew up quick and I grew up mean
My fist got hard and my wits got keen
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame
But I made me vow to the moon and stars
I'd search the honky tonks and bars
And kill that man that gave me that awful name

Well it was Gatlinsburg in mid July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry
I'd thought I'd stop and have myself a brew
At an old saloon on a street of mud
There at a table dealing stud
Sat that dirty mangy dog that named me Sue

Well I knew that sneak was my own sweet dad
From a wornout picture that my mother had
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye
He was big and bent and gray and old
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said my name is Sue how do you do now you're gonna die
Yeah that's what I told him

Well I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down but to my surprice
He got up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer

I tell you I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile
I heard him laughin' and I heard him cussin'
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile

He said son this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it he's gotta be tough
And I know I wouldn't be there to help you along
So I gave you that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's that name that helped to make you strong

Yeah he said now you have just fought one helluva fight
And I know you hate me and you've got the right
To kill me now and I wouldn't blame you if you do
But you oughta thank me before I die
For the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye
Because I'm the son of a bitch that named you Sue

Yeah what could I do what could I do
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
Called him Pa and he called me son
And I come away with a different point of view
And I think about him now and then
Every time I tried every time I win
And if I ever have a son
I think I'm gonna name him Bill or George anything but Sue

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