Don't Take Your Guns to Town

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"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
Jcash - Dont Take Guns.jpg
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album The Fabulous Johnny Cash
B-side "I Still Miss Someone"
Released December 1958
Format 7" single
Recorded 1958
Genre Western, country folk
Length 3:03
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Johnny Cash
Producer(s) Don Law
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"What Do I Care"
"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
"It's Just About Time"

"What Do I Care"
"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
"It's Just About 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.[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]


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[edit]

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

Alternate version[edit]

During an early-1990s guest appearance on the children's program Sesame Street, Cash performed a version of this song with new child-friendly lyrics titled "Don't Take Your Ones to Town".


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 74. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 110. 
  3. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.

External links[edit]