"Don't Take Your Guns To Town" as written by and Johnny R. Cash....
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

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

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

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 he had 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

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

Don't take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don't take your guns to town


Lyrics submitted by toterkater

"Don't Take Your Guns to Town" as written by Johnny R. Cash

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Don't Take Your Guns To Town song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI can't believe so few people have commented on Johnny Cash, while horrible bands like fall out boy are overflowed. It is a shame where American music has gone. Kids need to learn about the classics, instead of the garbage mtv force-feeds them.
    zmilla111on February 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a great song. I love the story of the love of a mother for her son, but his need of feeling like a man.
    GabrielDeRoseon June 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJohnny Cash sang a different verison of this on Sesame Street a few years back, about a Bird who takes his 'ones' to town.
    klaythanon February 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is such a sad and beautiful song. The verison i have is live i think and Johnny sings it in a very mournfull tone. I love this song its one of my favorite Cash tunes. Its just telling you dont need to act like a tough guy to be a man, if your confident in your self your a man you dont need " strong liqour to calm ur shakin hands " or guns at ur hips.
    BlamedTonight314on April 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmissing a verse, it actualy goes.

    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 he had at last 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
    Mr_Xon April 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdude I love this song. Im singing it to everybody. And who says Teenagers don't know about Legends. I idolize Johnny Cash, Im 17.
    djb12219001on October 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJC freely admitted to ripping this song off from an old Irish folk song. It's basically a reinterpretation of a uncopyrighted song
    Champeron July 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentironic
    1stsskornon January 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. The message against senseless violence are wonderful.
    CharlatanSinon March 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The message against senseless violence are wonderful. "

    Your dumb!! This song is completely metaphorical. Senseless Violence????
    notmj20on May 08, 2006   Link

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