Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Adult Writings Of Shel Silverstein 1/31: Boy Named Sue/ Father of a Boy Named Sue

My Fellow Inmates,

Shel got hois start writing for Playboy Magazine in the 1960's....

He wrote for Dr Hook and other groups before finding his fortune in children books.

I have uncovered 31 of these classic adult pieces, some of them gritty, some of them dirty....

Lets start with the most famous, back again with its second half that makes the whole piece very disturbing...


Boy Named Sue
(By Shel Silverstein)

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 must o' thought that is was quite a joke,
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk.
It 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 tell ya, 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 keen.
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made me a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars,
And kill that man that give 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 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.
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 know I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said good-bye.
I knew you'd have to get tough or die,
And it's that 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 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 son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but sue! I still hate that nam

Father Of A Boy Named Sue
(By Shel Silverstein)

Intro by Shel Silverstein
OK, now, years ago, I wrote a song called "A Boy Named Sue", And, that was OK and everything except, then I started to think about it, and I thought, It is unfair. I am, I am looking at the whole thing from the poor kid's point of view. And as I get more older and more fatherly, I begin to look at things from old men's point of view. So, I decided to give the old man equal time. OK, here we go... Yeah, I left home when the kid was three And it sure felt good to be fancy free Though I knew it wasn't quite the the fatherly thing to do But that kid kept screaming and throwing up And pissing in his pants till I had enough So just for revenge I went and named him Sue Yeah! It was Gatlinburg in mid July I was gettin drunk but gettin by Gettin old and going from bad to worse When through the door with an awful scream Comes the ugliest queen I've ever seen He says, "My name is Sue, how do you do?" Then he hits me with his purse Now this ain't the way he tells the tell But he scratched my face with his fingernails And Then he bit my thumb And kicked me with his high heel shoe So I hit him in the nose and he started to cry And he threw some perfume in my eye And it sure ain't easy fightin an old boy named Sue So I hit him in the head with a cane back chair And he screamed, "Hey dad, you mussed my hair!" And he hit me in the navel and knocked out a piece of my lint He was spittin blood, I was spittin teeth And we crashed through the wall and out into the street Kickin and gouging in the mud and the blood and the creme de menthe Then out of his garter he pulls a gun I'm about to get shot by my very own son He's screaming about Sigmund Freud and looking grim - woo So I though fast and I told him some stuff How I named him Sue just to make him tough And I guess he bought it cause now I'm living with him Yea he cooks and sews and cleans up the place He cuts my hair and shaves my face And irons my shirts better than a daughter could do And on the nights that I can't score Well, I can't tell you any more But it sure is a joy to have a boy named Sue Yeah a son is fun but it's a joy to have a boy named Sue!


With That, Visiting Time Is Over.

What Ever You Do Don't Scream Too Loud As Others Are Trying To Sleep.


1 comment:

  1. I know Shel wrote a bunch of stories for playboy and poems, but I didn't know he wrote a boy named sue, I only heard the Johnny Cash version.



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