A Boy Named Sue
Johnny Cash (Shel Silverstein, 1969)

Carter Picking
4/4 | T3 - D u T4 - D u |
      1    2 & 3    4 &

| [A] | [A] | [A] | [A] |

Well my [A] daddy left home when I was three
And he [D] didn't leave much to ma and me
Just [E7] this old guitar and an empty bottle of [A] booze.
Now, [A] I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the [D] meanest thing that he ever did
Was [E7] before he left, he went and named me [A] "Sue."

Well, he [A] must o' thought that it was quite a joke
And it [D] got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It [E7] seems I had to fight my whole life [A] through.
Some [A] gal would giggle and I'd get red
And [D] some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell [E7] ya, life ain't easy for a boy named [A] "Sue."

Well, I [A] grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My [D] fist got hard and my wits got keen,
[E7] I'd roam from town to town to hide my [A] shame.
But I [A] made a vow to the moon and stars
That [D] I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
[E7] And kill that man who gave me that awful [A] name.

Well, it was [A] Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I [D] just hit town and my throat was dry,
I [E7] thought I'd stop and have myself a [A] brew.
At an [A] old saloon on a street of mud,
[D] There at a table, dealing stud,
[E7] Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me [A] "Sue."

Well, I [A] knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a [D] worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I [E7] knew that scar on his cheek and his evil [A] eye.
He was [A] big and bent and gray and old,
And I [D] looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I [E7] said: "My name is 'Sue!' [A] How do you do! Now you gonna die!!"

Well, I [A] hit him hard right between the eyes
And [D] he went down, but to my surprise,
[E7] He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my [A] ear.
But I [A] busted a chair right across his teeth
And we [D] crashed through the wall and into the street
[E7] Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the [A] beer.

[A] I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But [D] I really can't remember when,
He [E7] kicked like a mule and he bit like a croco- [A] dile.
I [A] heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
[D] He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He [E7] stood there lookin' at me and I saw him [A] smile. And he said: "Son...

[A] "...this world is rough
And if a [D] man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I [E7] knew I wouldn't be there to help ya a- [A] long.
So I [A] give ya that name and I said goodbye
I [D] knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the [E7] name that helped to make you [A] strong."

He said: "Now [A] you just fought one hell of a fight
And I [D] know you hate me, and you got the right
To [E7] kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you [A] do.
But ya [A] ought to thank me, before I die,
For the [D] gravel in your guts and the spit in the eye
Cause [E7] I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you [A] "Sue."

Yeah, [A] what did I do? What could I do?
I got [D] all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I [E7] called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I [A] came away with a different point of view.

And I [A] think about him, now and then,
Every [D] time I try and every time I win,
And [E7↓] if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but [A] Sue! I still hate that name! [A↓]  

#Capo on 1st fret to play along with the original.

#Last Updated 1/04/19 JJ
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