breakfast in Richer

This mornings ride to Richer, as usual, provided some good laughs.  Following that conversation, this is for Jimmy-two-sacks.

“A Boy Named Sue”

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 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 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!

5 thoughts on “breakfast in Richer

  1. Thanks Ron. As I read the lyrics, I could just hear Johnny Cash singing. My apologies to Merle—-you have a great name. Do you remember how this conversation started? We speculated that the “bus murderer” struck out in rage because he didn’t like his name. We never know where our breakfast conversations will take us.

  2. I just met a girl down in soho town, and in a backround voice she told me her name was “Lola”.
    LOL any one care to post the words to the rest of that song!!

  3. I met her in a club down in old soho
    Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola [lp version:
    C-o-l-a cola
    She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
    I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said lola
    L-o-l-a lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

    Well Im not the worlds most physical guy
    But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
    Oh my lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
    Well Im not dumb but I cant understand
    Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
    Oh my lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

    Well we drank champagne and danced all night
    Under electric candlelight
    She picked me up and sat me on her knee
    And said dear boy wont you come home with me
    Well Im not the worlds most passionate guy
    But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
    Lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

    I pushed her away
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at her and she at me

    Well thats the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo lola
    Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo lola

    Well I left home just a week before
    And Id never ever kissed a woman before
    But lola smiled and took me by the hand
    And said dear boy Im gonna make you a man

    Well Im not the worlds most masculine man
    But I know what I am and Im glad Im a man
    And so is lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
    Lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

  4. Now why wouldn’t Sue’s ma just change his name to something like Bill or George? I guess I don’t “get” country music. Now Pink Floyd has some great lyrics… “…and the worms ate into his brain.” “Ooh baby, you’ll always be baby to me.” “Mother do you think they’re going to break my balls?” And practical advise: “get a good job with more pay and you’re OK.”

  5. Sheesh, what have I been hearing all these years? You mean Lola is about a drag Queen?! I’ve been emotionally scarred…

Comments are closed.