A Boy Named Sue

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

/ A - / D - / E - A - / :

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 you're 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 paw, 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!