A Boy Named Sue Uke tab by Johnny Cash

3 Chords used in the song :

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Original tuning : +0.5 step(s) [ ? ]

A chordA
My daddy left home when I was three
D chordD
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
E chordE A chordA
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze
A chordA
Now I don't blame him cause he run and hid
D chordD
But the meanest thing that he ever did
E chordE A chordA
Was before he left he went and named me Sue


A chordA
Well he must o' thought that is quite a joke
D chordD
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk
E chordE A chordA
It seems I had to fight my whole life through
A chordA
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
D chordD
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head
E chordE A chordA
I tell ya life ain't easy for a boy named Sue


A chordA
Well I grew up quick and I grew up mean
D chordD
My fist got hard and my wits got keen
E chordE A chordA
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame
A chordA
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
D chordD
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
E chordE A chordA
And kill that man who gave me that awful name


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


A chordA
Well I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
D chordD
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had
E chordE A chordA
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye
A chordA
He was big and bent and gray and old
D chordD
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
E chordE A chordA
And I said My name is 'Sue ' How do you do

Now you gonna die


A chordA
Well I hit him hard right between the eyes
D chordD
And he went down but to my surprise
E chordE A chordA
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear
A chordA
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
D chordD
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
E chordE A chordA
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer


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


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


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


A chordA
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
D chordD
And I called him my pa and he called me his son
E chordE A chordA
And I came away with a different point of view
A chordA
And I think about him now and then
D chordD
Every time I try and every time I win
[No Chords]
And if I ever have a son I think I'm gonna name him
A chordA (keep strumming)
Bill or George Anything but Sue I still hate that name

 

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About this song

This version of "A Boy Named Sue" was recorded in front of a live audience. The track is a comical talking blues song written by Shel Silverstein and performed by country/blues singer Johnny Cash. It tells the first-person story of a boy named "Sue," whose father, before walking out of his life, named him that in order to make him strong. Unbeknownst to the, now, man, he meets his father and a barroom brawl ensues.