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A Boy Named Sue Harmonica Tab

Songwriter(s): Shel Silverstein
Released: 1969
Genre: General
Key: C
Harp Type: Diatonic
Skill: Beginner



A Boy Named Sue Harmonica Tab


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Words and Music By Shel Silverstein

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

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Well, he must o’ thought it was quite a joke
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And it got lots of laughs from a’ lots of folk,
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It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
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Some gal would giggle and I’d get red
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And some guy’d laugh and I’d bust his head,
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I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy
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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!


A Boy Named Sue Lyrics


Well, 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 musta thought that it was quite a joke
An’ it got a lot of laughs from lots a folks
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’ll tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue
I grew up quick and I grew up mean
My fist got hard and my wis got keen
I 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
And kill that man that gave me that awful name
Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
I’d just hit town and my throat was dry
I thought I’d stop and have myself a brew
In and old saloon on a street of mud
There at a table dealin’ stud
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named Sue
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worm out picture that my mother’s had
I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye
He was big and bent and grey 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
Yeah, that’s what I told him!
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down but to my surprise
Come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear
I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kickin’ and a gougin’ in the the mud and the blood and the beer
I tell you I’ve fought tougher men
But I really can’t remember when
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss
He went 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 know I wouldn’t be there to help you along
So I gave that name and I said goodbye
I knew you’d have to get tough or die
And it’s that name what helped to make you strong”
Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me and ya got the right
To kill me now and I wouldn’t blame you if you do
But you oughtta thank me before I die
For the gravel in your gut and the spit in your eye
‘Cause I’m the son of a bitch that named you Sue
Well, what could I do, what could I do?
Well, I got a choked up and threw down my gun
Called him a pa and he called me a son
And I come away with a different point of view
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, any damn thing but Sue
I still hate that name


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