Words and Music By Shel Silverstein -5 -5 -5-5 -4 -4 -3 -4 -4 -4 Well my daddy left home when I was three -4 -4 -5 5 -5 5 -3 -5 5 5 And he didn't leave much to ma and me 5 5 -5 5 -5 -5 5 -5-5 -6 6 -5 Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of -4 booze. 6 -5 -7 -5 -4 4 -3 -4 -3 -4 -4 Now, I don't blame him because he run and hid -3 -3 -7 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 But the meanest thing that he ever did 5 5 -5 -5 -5 4 -5 4 -5 4 -5 Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue." -5 -5 -5 -4 -4 -3 -3 -4 -4 -4 Well, he must o' thought it was quite a joke -3 -3 -5 5 -5 5 -3 -5 5 5 5 And it got lots of laughs from a' lots of folk, 5 -5 5 -5 5 -5 -5 -6 -5 -4 It seems I had to fight my whole life through. -5 -7 -5 -4-4 -3 -4 -3 -4 Some gal would giggle and I'd get red -3 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head, 5 -5 -5 -5 4 -5-5 4 -5 4 I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy -5 -5 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!