A BOY NAMED SUE - chords, tab and comments

At the bottom you'll find a link to the complete lyrics.

In the middle of his 1969 concert at San Quentin, Johnny Cash drew up a sheet of paper from his pocket and told the band to play a standard 3-chord jam, following him. The content of the sheet was the poem "A Boy Named Sue" which he had received a few days before. He got it from the weirdo Shel Silverstein, and had heard him perform it only once; talking-style.
This was totally unexpected, unrehearsed and encouraged by June Carter to try it out on that special audience - which nearly went berserk. It was included on both the TV-recording and album, and released as a single it took command over the lousy title-track San Quentin, degrading it to flip side. It became Cash's most prominent performance and his only top ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, held back from top only by "Honky Tonk Woman" for 3 weeks. June Carter sure had a nose for business.
Sheldon Allan Silverstein (1939-1999) was a versatile man. Most renowned as a children's author, he was a writer and cartoonist for Playboy (!) and others, starting at very early age. Writing songs and performing was merely a sidekick, but he produced almost all material for Dr.Hook and the Medicine Show (more than 60 songs), and penned hits for several artists. Strange guy.

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E                       E7
my daddy left home when I was three
        A                   A7
and he didn't leave much to ma and me
      B7                                     E   ...B7
just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze
    E                           E7
now I don't blame him cause he run and hid
         A                    A7
but the meanest thing that he ever did
       B7                                E
was before he left he went and named me Sue
E major
E seventh
A major
A seventh
B seventh
Shel Silverstein