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Johnny Cash - Don't Take Your Guns to Town

The single was his fifth release to reach the number one position on the country chart, where it stayed for six weeks. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

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. “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” was also a crossover hit peaking at number thirty-two on the pop chart. 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.

 

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.

 

On the original 45 record, it was paired with another good song: The B-Side was “I Still Miss Someone” from the pen of Johnny Cash and Roy Cash.

 Some Versions

 

Johnny Cash December 1958

Dick Nolan 1961

Faron Young September 1963

Burl Ives February 1968

Ry Cooder 1986

Johnny Cash / Willie Nelson 1998

Charlie Robison September 24, 2002

Floyd Red Crow Westerman 2006

The Cashbags August 1, 2015

Miquel Batlle Garriga
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com

Johnny Cash – Don’t Take Your Guns to Town Lyrics

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

He drank his first strong liquor then to calm his shaking hand

And tried to tell himself at last, 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

 

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 ’round

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



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