Johnny Cash A Boy Named Sue (Video and Lyrics)

Johnny Cash A Boy Named Sue

photo: YouTube

Enjoy watching Johnny Cash "A Boy Named Sue" live performance video and see the song details here. . .

The Johnny Cash A Boy Named Sue song was recorded live in concert on February 24, 1969 at California’s San Quentin State Prison for his At San Quentin album.   “A Boy Named Sue” is a timeless classic that tells the story of a man who is given an unusual name by his father and is forced to grow up quickly as a result. It quickly became one of Cash’s biggest hits and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart starting August 23, 1969.

Watch the live performance video and see the written lyrics below.

Johnny Cash A Boy Named Sue Live Performance from 1969

he story of “A Boy Named Sue” is one of resilience and strength in the face of adversity. The protagonist, Sue, is abandoned by his father at a young age and is left to fend for himself. However, instead of giving up, he uses his unusual name as a source of strength and determination. Sue trains himself to become a skilled fighter, and as a result, he is able to hold his own in tough situations.  The song’s lyrics are filled with humor and irony, as Sue recounts his experiences growing up with a name that is more suited for a girl than a boy. He faces ridicule and taunting from others, but he never lets it get the best of him. Instead, he embraces his name and turns it into a badge of honor.

This song was written by humorist, children’s author, and poet Shel Silverstein.

Johnny Cash A Boy Named Sue Lyrics

Thank you
Well, my daddy left home when I was three
Didn’t leave very much to my mom and me
Except 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 my daddy ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me Sue
He must’ve thought that it was quite a joke
And I got a lot of laughs from a lots of folk
Seems I had to fight my whole life through
Some gal would giggle and I’d turn red
And some guy’d laugh and I’d bust his head
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 keener
Roam 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
And kill that man that gave me that awful name
Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry
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 had
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 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
Then I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the walls and into the street
Kicking and a-gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer
Well, I tell you, 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
And he reached for his gun but 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 you along
So I give you that name, and I said goodbye
And I knew you’d have to get tough or die
It’s that name that helped to make you strong”
He said, “Now you just fought one heck 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 you ought to thank me, before I die
For the gravel in ya gut and the spit in ya eye
‘Cause I’m the f_ that named you Sue”
What could I do?
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
I called him my pa, and he called me his son
Come 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 boy, I’ll name him
Bill or George or Frank, anything but Sue
Petor, I hate that name
Thank you

The song has been covered by numerous artists over the years, but none have been able to capture the raw energy and emotion of Cash’s original recording. His deep, gravelly voice adds a layer of gravitas to the lyrics that is hard to replicate.  In addition to its catchy melody and memorable lyrics, “A Boy Named Sue” has a deeper message about the power of perseverance and self-confidence. Sue’s determination to succeed in spite of the challenges he faces is a testament to the human spirit, and it serves as a reminder that we can all overcome obstacles if we believe in ourselves.

Overall, “A Boy Named Sue” is a true classic that has stood the test of time. Its message of resilience and determination continues to resonate with audiences today, and it remains one of Johnny Cash’s most beloved songs.  Remember to “share” the Johnny Cash A Boy Named Sue song with other Country Music fans.

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