Work on the melody and chords using the verse and chorus lyric you have, gradually smoothing and changing until you have something you like. Then write the rest of the lyric to the final melody.
Content[ edit ] The song tells the tale of a young man's quest for revenge on a father who abandoned him at three years of age and whose only contribution to his entire life was naming him Suecommonly a feminine name, which results in the young man suffering from ridicule and harassment by everyone he meets in his travels.
Because of this, Sue grows up tough and mean, and smartens up very quickly, though he frequently relocates due to the shame his name gives him. Angered by the embarrassment and abuse that he endures in his life, he swears write a song inspiration he will find and kill his father for giving him "that awful name".
Sue later locates his father at a tavern in Gatlinburg, Tennesseeduring the middle of a summer season, and confronts him by saying, "My name is Sue! How do you do? Now you're gonna die! After the two have beaten each other almost senseless, Sue's father admits that he is the "heartless hound"[ citation needed ] "son of a bitch" in the Johnny Cash version that named him Sue and explains that the name was given as an act of love.
Because Sue's father knew that he would not be there for his son, he gave him the name, believing correctly that the ensuing ridicule would force him to "get tough or die". Learning this, Sue makes peace with his father and they reconcile.
With his lesson learned, Sue closes the song with a promise to name his son "Bill or George, anything but Sue". The song is performed mostly in the speech-like style of talking blues rather than conventional singing. Both the edited and unedited versions are available on various albums and compilations.
The term "son of a bitch" was edited to "son of a gun" or altogether bleeped out in some versions. When performing the song live in later performances such as in April at the White House and in at the Glastonbury Festivalfor exampleCash would himself utter a bleep-censor sound in lieu of the word.
Silverstein, for his part, does not utter any profanity in his original version, with Sue's father instead identifying himself as the "heartless hound" that named him Sue. Inspiration[ edit ] The core story of the song was inspired by humorist Jean Shepherda close friend of Silverstein, who was often taunted as a child because of his feminine-sounding name.
Hicks of Madisonville, Tennesseea friend of John Scopes who agreed to be a prosecutor in what was to become known as the " Scopes Monkey Trial ". Hicks was named after his mother who died after giving birth to him. It was included in that concert to try it out—he did not know the words and on the filmed recording he can be seen regularly referring to a piece of paper.
Cash was surprised at how well the song went over with the audience. According to Cash biographer Robert Hilburn, neither the British TV crew filming the concert nor his band knew he planned to perform the song; he used a lyric sheet on stage while Perkins and the band improvised the backing on the spot.
While another song, "San Quentin", was expected to be the major new song featured in the concert and subsequent album so much so the album includes two performances of "San Quentin""A Boy Named Sue" ended up being the concert's major find.
John Carter Cash ", referring to his newborn son. Cash also performed this variant at the White House in April ; in later years, however, he would restore the original "any name but Sue" ending, but change the wording to "if I ever have another son".
When Cash performed with The Highwaymen in the s and s, he would end the song by saying "if I ever have another boy, I think I'm gonna name him Waylon, or Willie, or Kris. Silverstein introduced it to them at what they called a "Guitar Pull," where musicians would pass a guitar around and play their songs.
Silverstein later wrote a follow-up named "The Father of a Boy Named Sue" on his Songs and Stories in which he tells the old man's point of view of the story. The only known recording of the song by a major artist is by Shel Silverstein himself. Various cover artists have covered this song since then.
Chart performance Johnny Cash version [ edit ].lyric ideas for songwriters new lyric ideas for songs This site has been designed to help songwriters write song lyrics using new ideas for songs.
Whenever free tips, ideas for lyrics or song ideas are needed, this website will give you inspiration for lyric ideas. Plot Generator Our aim is to inspire you to write your own stories, using common genres and themes. We'll help you set the scene then build characters, describe them, name them, and work out how they fit together in an interesting story.
Learn how to write a song with this songwriting for beginners guide. Songwriting tips. Ultimate Songwriting Songwriting tips. Learn how to write a song. Learn How to Write a Song – Songwriting For Beginners – Tips (written by Mantius Cazaubon) Coming up with a great lyric depends a lot on inspiration.
You need to be in the right. Most songs come together in two stages: the creation, when the initial inspiration takes hold; and the editing, when you identify the good stuff, cut the bad stuff, and try to improve the stuff somewhere in between. The creation stage is all about writing whatever comes out, without filtering or .
Consistent Writing Habits Lead to Great Songs If a songwriter maintains this discipline in his/her writing habits, they will write inspired songs, which are the only ones that count.
When inspiration fades, it’s time to take an objective look at the song you’ve created and decide whether it’s just good or truly great.
Music can be a source of inspiration for almost anyone, since it can be a unique key to suite any lock, even the most complicated and tenacious. Music has the power to make us want to smile at every stranger walking by, simply because we are hearing a transcendent song. References. Cannus, Brian.
Zen of Music. Brighton: Old Owl Press, Print.