Johnny Cash historians have discovered a previously unknown Cash ballad amongst his files that might be his next posthumous hit. It appears to be a rewrite of his big ’60’s hit “A Boy Named Sue” that is a tribute to movie star John Wayne.
Wayne’s name at birth was actually Marion, normally a woman’s name, which supposed caused him grief with his classmates in school. Cash seemingly saw the similarity with his “Sue” hit and decided to redo it. We have acquired the text and present it here for your entertainment.
Use the wording below to the tune of “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash:
A BOY NAMED MARION
My daddy left home when I was three
and he didn’t say goodby to ma and me
just walked out with his booze and a gun
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 Marion.
Well, he must have thought that it was quite a joke
and it got a lotta laughs from a lots of folk,
they’d laugh at me and they’d carry on
like it was the funniest thing they’d ever heard
point their fingers and call me a nerd.
I tell ya, life ain’t’ easy for a boy named Marion.
Well I had to eat a lot of crow
and got into many a row,
all because of that stupid name
but I knew that if I would look real hard
for that man who was a real card
that on his shoulders I would put the blame.
I searched and I roamed both north and south
going by instinct and word of mouth.
Knowing some day I’d find that man
somewhere, somehow in a filthy pub
or in a restaurant chowing down grub
and when I did, boy did I have a dandy plan.
I’d chew him up and spit him out
smack him in the head with a really hard clout
punch him in the chin
and kick him in the shin
then sit down and take a cigarette break.
I’d roll him up in a great big ball
then push him to a cliff and let him fall
I’d give him pain for all he could take.
Finally one day I had my luck,
when I got dropped off from a pickup truck
and there in the street I stopped and stood
up at a big sign that read ‘Hollywood’
stretched out across a hilly range.
Somehow I felt like I’d come home
and no longer would I need to roam
but that was when things got really strange.
Someone yelled “Cut!” and I turned around
and what I saw cause me to astound
an amazing sight was before my eyes
causing in me my bile to rise.
For there ahead warning me to heed
with a voice just like a traffic cop
was the man who’d been my pop
and soon would be chicken feed.
Well I knew that man was my own sweet pap
from the name printed on his baseball cap.
He was looking like a real fashion fop
in a Hawaiian shirt and bare flip flops.
My blood ran cold and then it ran hot
It took me a minute for me to carry on
and say “Hi, my name is Marion
Now you’re gonna get shot!”
I went up to him and I knocked him down
spilling his teeth all over the ground
He stood back up and hit me in the guts
seconding with a kick right to the nuts.
I hauled off and pegged him in the chin
then countered with a karate kick,
that would have made a normal man sick
at which point he turned and grinned.
He said “I see you’ve grown up tough
in a world where you can never be tough enough.
I named you Marion and then took off
hoping you’d grow up to be the right stuff
now here you are as big as a man can be.
Since you’ve come from so afar
I’m going to make you a movie star
and pay you a nice, fat manly fee.”
Well, this was really quite a wake up
when they sat me down and applied makeup,
gave me a ten gallon hat and boots
and a brand spanking new cowboy suit.
I was given a few lines to speak
and told to act tough and dirty mean
in each of the upcoming scenes
to intimidate others into being meek
He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye
said “The time is now nigh
in this business you need to play the game
therefore we got to change your name.
Marion will make the fans want to puke
so from now on you’ll be known as Duke
but every time the cowboy hat you don
we’ll also know you as plain ‘ol Big John.”
So that’s how the legend all got started
since that day we’ve never parted.
We make movies like other people breathe air.
On that day John Wayne was born
‘Marion’ no longer causes me scorn
and life is pretty much like a county fair
I’ve shot up Injuns and I’ve shot up crooks
when asked to fight I give it all it tooks
I’ve bombed the Mexicans and also the Nazis
been in the Marines, the Navy, the ROTCs,
Fought in battles, wars and games
been bayoneted, knifed and shot
but the best of all the many plots
is when I get to kiss the dames.
Now that I’m richer than sin
I give all the due thanks to him
who gave me that God awful name.
I now no longer feel the same
and think that if I ever have a son, well…
I think I’ll just name him Engelbert
and make his life a total hell!