A Boy Named Sue Analysis Essay

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“A Boy Named Sue” is a song written by Shel Silverstein, and made popular by Johnny Cash. It was performed on February 24, 1969. Although, the song wasn’t released until July 26, 1969. The structure of the song has an unusual A-A-B-C-C-B rhyme scheme, broken only to mark the midpoint and ending. The song is mostly performed in a speech like style of talking blues, unlike usual singing. The song is about a young man who is on a quest to get revenge on his father who left him at 3 years old and the only thing his father ever was name him Sue. This young man always suffered from ridicule and harassment by everyone he met. Sue grew up tough, mean, and smartens up very quickly, even though he usually relocates because of his shame in his name. He was very angry and embarrassed with his name, and because of his father, he swore that he would find his father and kill him for giving him “that awful name”. Later, Sue found his father at a tavern in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the middle of summer. He confronted his father by saying, “My name is Sue! How do you do? Now you’re gonna die!” This resulted in a big fight that went outside into a muddy street. After they have beaten on each other…show more content…
The title may have been inspired by the male attorney Sue K. Hicks of Madisonville, Tennessee, was a friend of John Scopes who agreed to be a prosecutor in what is known as “Scopes Monkey Trial”. Sue was named after his mother who died after giving birth to him. In Cash’s autobiography, he wrote that he had received the song and only read over it a couple times. At the concert that Cash was trying it out at, he did not know the words and on the filmed recording he can be seen lots of time referring to a piece of paper. According to Shel Silverstein’s biographer Mitch Myers, it was June Cash who got her husband to perform the
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