Well, my daddy left home when I was threeAnd he didn't leave much to ma and meJust this old guitar and an empty bottle of boozeNow, I don't blame him 'cause he run and hidBut the meanest thing that he ever didWas before he left, he went and named me Sue
Well, he must o' thought that is quite a jokeAnd it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folkIt seems I had to fight my whole life throughSome gal would giggle and I'd get redAnd some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his headI tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up meanMy fist got hard and my wits got keenI'd roam from town to town to hide my shameBut I made me a vow to the moon and starsThat I'd search the honky tonks and barsAnd kill that man who gave me that awful name
Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid JulyAnd I just hit town and my throat was dryI thought I'd stop and have myself a brewAt an old saloon on a street of mudThere at a table, dealing studSat the dirty, mangy dog that named me Sue
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dadFrom a worn out picture that my mother hadAnd I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eyeHe was big and bent and gray and oldAnd I looked at him and my blood ran coldAnd I said, "My name is Sue! How do you do?Now you're gonna die"
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyesAnd he went down, but to my surpriseHe come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my earBut I busted a chair right across his teethAnd we crashed through the wall and into the streetKicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer
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I tell ya, I've fought tougher menBut I really can't remember whenHe kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodileI heard him laugh and then I heard him curseHe went for his gun and I pulled mine firstHe stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile
And he said, "Son, this world is roughAnd if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be toughAnd I knew I wouldn't be there to help you alongSo I give you that name and I said goodbyeI knew you'd have to get tough or dieAnd it's the name that helped to make you strong"
He said, "Now you just fought one hell of a fightAnd I know you hate me, and you got the rightTo kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you doBut you ought to thank me, before I dieFor the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye'Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you Sue
What could I do? Yeah what could I do?I got all choked up and I threw down my gunAnd I called him my pa, and he called me his sonAnd I came away with a different point of viewAnd I think about him, now and thenEvery time I try and every time I winAnd if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name himBill or George anything but Sue I still hate that name