A Boy Named Sue Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis

Rhyme Scheme: AABCDE FGEHHE IIJKLJ MNEOAE MMNPPEQ RSTEUV WXWYX ZA2B2NC2 WD2NAE2 N WWNWNQN

Well my daddy left home when I was threeA
and he didn't leave much to Ma and meA
just this old guitar and a bottle of boozeB
Now I don't blame him because he run and hidC
but the meanest thing that he ever did wasD
before he left he went and named me SueE
-
Well he must have thought it was quite a jokeF
and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folksG
it seems I had to fight my whole life throughE
Some gal would giggle and I'd get redH
and some guy would laugh and I'd bust his headH
I tell you life ain't easy for a boy named SueE
-
Well I grew up quick and I grew up meanI
My fist got hard and my wits got keenI
Roamed from town to town to hide my shameJ
but I made me a vow to the moon and the starsK
I'd search the honky tonks and bars and killL
that man that gave me that awful nameJ
-
But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I hadM
just hit town and my throat was dryN
I'd thought i'd stop and have myself a brewE
At an old saloon in a street of mudO
and at a table dealing stud sat the dirtyA
mangy dog that named me SueE
-
Well I knew that snake was my own sweet dadM
from a worn out picture that my mother hadM
and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eyeN
He was big and bent and gray and oldP
and I looked at him and my blood ran coldP
and I said 'My name is Sue How do you doE
Now you're gonna die ' Yeah that's what I told himQ
-
Well I hit him right between the eyes and he went downR
but to my surprise he came up with a knifeS
and cut off a piece of my ear But I busted a chairT
right across his teeth And we crashed throughE
the wall and into the street kicking and a gougingU
in the mud and the blood and the beerV
-
I tell you I've fought tougher men but I really can't remember whenW
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodileX
I heard him laughin' and then I heard him cussin'W
he went for his gun and I pulled mine firstY
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smileX
-
And he said 'Son this world is rough and ifZ
a man's gonna make it he's gotta be toughA2
and I knew I wouldn't be there to help you alongB2
So I gave you that name and I said 'Goodbye'N
I knew you'd have to get tough or die And it'sC2
that name that helped to make you strong '-
-
Yeah he said 'Now you have just fought oneW
helluva fight and I know you hate me and you'veD2
got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame youN
if you do But you ought to thank meA
before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spitE2
in your eye because I'm the guy that named you Sue '-
Yeah what could I do What could I doN
-
I got all choked up and I threw down my gunW
called him pa and he called me a sonW
and I came away with a different point of viewN
and I think about him now and thenW
Every time I tried every time I win and if IN
ever have a son I think I am gonna name himQ
Bill or George anything but SueN

Shel Silverstein



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