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A Boy Named Sue Lyrics

Artist: Johnny Cash


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 cause 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 o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
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 ya, 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,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I 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 the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd 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 your gonna die!!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come 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
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong."

He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you "Sue.'"

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!
Comments/Interpretations
by Carolina on 5/25/2008 10:02pm
The best.
by Alie on 5/27/2008 6:45pm
Love this song
by paul on 5/28/2008 3:24pm
wonderful song
by james on 6/2/2008 4:23am
great song thanks
by bethany on 6/12/2008 7:20am
this is the best i love it!
by 77777777777777777 on 7/4/2008 1:31pm
love this song
by candy on 7/11/2008 2:45pm
johnny cash is god
by amber on 7/22/2008 1:42pm
wow i havent heard this song since i was like 6, it was my favourite, dont know why. oh it brings back memories. i love that song.!!
by a huge fan on 7/24/2008 1:03am
the song actually ends "any damned thing but Sue"
by Um, but.... on 8/24/2008 2:14pm
This is a great song and Johnny Cash brings it to life, but he did not write the lyrics; Shel Silverstein did. Not sure why it's not credited properly, but there you have it.
by hopey on 10/11/2008 7:00pm
i love this so much
by soph on 11/9/2008 5:01pm
My fav song of Johnny's. And Shel did'nt write it!
by sue on 11/11/2008 3:15pm
I love this song, because sue it's my name! And that's not a joke !
by Supa Fly on 11/23/2008 10:59am
I love J.C.'s voice it's so low and fun, I love "Ring of Fir" cause it's awesome. But this song's funny too.
by autumn williams on 11/24/2008 7:58pm
i love this song its cool but with violence. I LOVE IT!! im yor biggest fan you wanna know y i hav 8,678 pics and posters of you!
by John B on 12/7/2008 5:08am
The man who wrote this song is actually Shep Silverstein. Try googling the history of it. Enjoy :)
by Killua on 12/7/2008 5:21am
its just the best, just that
by cynthia on 3/5/2009 8:01am
i love this song!!!
by cool on 3/17/2009 10:47am
cool
by Terra on 6/16/2009 6:01pm
I absolutely love this song.
by ashley on 11/11/2009 12:25pm
this song is so funny
by jones on 12/18/2010 7:27am
@JohnB: The author's name is SheL Silverstein, not Shep. Johnny's song was a direct lift. Many times, young people think that a recording artist writes all his/her own material, but that isn't always the case, as is demonstrated here.
by CatWoman on 10/5/2011 7:11am
it's like a short story .. so catchy looove it
by faythlover on 6/7/2012 12:12pm
i <3 it
by roger on 6/28/2012 3:10am
i remember when a boy named sue was a hit in the 60s,it still is
by dado on 9/5/2012 2:42am
I love this song
by little jew boy on 5/2/2013 6:30am
i lost my cat. has anyone seen it?? it kinda looks like my ass
by Issabella on 1/17/2014 12:04pm
this song is the bomb aka the best


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