Song Lyric Sunday 1/22/17 – A Boy Named Sue

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme is a song about forgiveness. Well, as I’m not religious at all and it seems most songs centered around this theme are hymns and such of the Christian religion, well, my options seemed rather limited.

So I thought for awhile and then as I was thinking of my own name (which is mostly considered a female name) and how I used to lament being given a more feminine as opposed to masculine name, this song came to mind and I’m like “ah, perfect.” It’s a bit rough but when it comes down to it, it’s a great take on the theme.

So therefore I present to you Shel Silverstein’s timeless poem “A Boy Named Sue” as brought to life by the late, legendary 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!
Source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnnycash/aboynamedsue.html

And that’s a wrap for this week. Hope you enjoyed and as always, thanks Helen for doing Song Lyric Sunday. It’s always a ton of fun!

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7 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday 1/22/17 – A Boy Named Sue

  1. Thanks for the laugh, I really needed that today!

    Forgiveness is all about perspective. It always helps to hear things from the other side and to understand why. I think this was a great pick for the week! 🙂

    Like

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