A Boy Named Sue

Capo 1st fret


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Well, my daddy left home when I was three
and he didn’t leave much for ma and me,
E                                                                A
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
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was before he left, he went and named me Sue.

Well, he must have thought that it was quite a joke,
and it got a lot of laughs from a lots of folks.
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It seems I had to fight my whole life through,

Some gal would giggle and I’d get red,
some guy would laugh and I’d bust his head,
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I tell you, 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.
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Roamed from town to town to hide my shame,

but I made me a vow to the moon and stars,
I’d search the honky-tonks and bars,
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and kill that man that gave me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid July,
and I had just hit town and my throat was dry.
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I’d thought I’d stop by and have myself a brew.

At an old saloon on a street of mud,
there at a table dealin’ stud,
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sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me Sue.

Well, I knew that the snake was my own sweet dad
from a worn-out picture that my mother’d had.
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And I knew the 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,
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and I said, “My name is Sue. How do you do?

Now you 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 surprise
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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 smashed through the wall and into the street,
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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.
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He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.

I heard him laugh and then I heard him cussin’,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
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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.
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And I knew 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.
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And it’s that name that helped to make you strong.”

Yeah, he said, “now, you just fought one hell of a fight,
and I know you hate me and you’ve got the right
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to kill me now and I wouldn’t blame you if you do.

But you ought to thank me before I die
for the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye,
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’cause I’m the son of a bitch that named you Sue.”

A                                                        D
Yeah, what could I do? What could I do?
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun,
called him my pa and he called me his son.

And I come away with a different point of view.

And I think about him now and then,
ev’ry time I try and ev’ry time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I’m gonna name him…
Bill og George. Anything but Sue.

I still hate that name. Yeah!

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