Johnny Cash – Don’t take your guns to town lyrics

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
A young cowboy named Billy Joe grew restless on the farm
A boy filled with wonderlust who really meant no harm
He changed his clothes and shined his boots
And combed his dark hair down
And his mother cried as he walked out

[Chorus]
Don’t take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don’t take your guns to town

[Verse 2]
He laughed and kissed his mom
And said your Billy Joe’s a man
I can shoot as quick and straight as anybody can
But I wouldn’t shoot without a cause
I’d gun nobody down
But she cried again as he rode away

[Chorus]
Don’t take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don’t take your guns to town

[Verse 3]
He sang a song as on he rode
His guns hung at his hips
He rode into a cattle town
A smile upon his lips
He stopped and walked into a bar
And laid his money down
But his mother’s words echoed again

[Chorus]
Don’t take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don’t take your guns to town

[Verse 4]
He drank his first strong liquor then to calm his shaking hand
And tried to tell himself atlast he had become a man
A dusty cowpoke at his side began to laugh him down
And he heard again his mothers words

[Chorus]
Don’t take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don’t take your guns to town

[Verse 5]
Filled with rage then
Billy Joe reached for his gun to draw
But the stranger drew his gun and fired
Before he even saw
As Billy Joe fell to the floor
The crowd all gathered around
And wondered at his final words

[Chorus]
Don’t take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don’t take your guns to town

 

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” is a 1958 single by Johnny Cash. The single was his fifth release to reach the number one position on the country chart, where it stayed for six weeks.[1] “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” was also a crossover hit peaking at number thirty-two on the pop chart.[2] The song is also included in the live album VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson. The song was covered by U2 on their 2001 single “Elevation“.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[3]

Content

The song tells the story of a young cowboy who, ignoring the titular advice from his mother, gets into a gunfight at a saloon and is killed.

Chart performance

Chart (1958–1959)Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4]1
US Billboard Hot 100[5]32
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