Billy and Johnny (Just What You Do) – Bill Lautner

Billy and Johnny
They were the best of friends
They grew up in the hills of Tennessee
Every fall when the leaves turned red, some brown
They’d play ball together in the fields, in the barn.
That’s just what you did after all.

Billy and Johnny
They were very much the same
They both grew up on their family farms
And they helped with the chores
And they drove the tractor when still young.
That’s just what you did after all.

For Billy and Johnny
College was not in the game
No money, few jobs
They hung out together; they tried to make a plan
That summer after graduation from high school.
That’s just what you did after all.

Billy and Johnny
They didn’t know what to do
But were loyal, patriotic, and true
So they went downtown to that office someone knew
Where you signed up for a few years or more.
That’s just what you did after all.

A war broke out
Billy and Johnny were strong and they were tough
It was sure what they would do
They would do what they were told to do
They would go to the front.
That’s just what you did after all.

Billy and Johnny were planning
To get leave for the holidays
Together, they’d visit the old ones
It would be the best one yet
The holiday that they’d get.
That’s just what you did after all.

Then one day Billy and Johnny got a call
“Go down this alley
Clear it wall to wall”
They picked up their guns and all
They knew that they would not run.
That’s just what you did after all.

So slowly Billy and Johnny
Picked their way together there
They were confident, they were scared
They were careful, they were sure
That they knew just what to do.
That’s just what you did after all.

Then a shot rang out
Silence at first was all that Johnny heard
“Billy? Billy!
Oh God! Oh no!
What am I gonna do?
You can’t…I can’t….oh what am I gonna do?”

And as their music died out
And as noise, voices, confusion ensued
Johnny held Billy in his arms one last time
As their life together slowly drained, drained away.
Johnny kissed Billy once, then laid him to rest.
That’s just what you do after all.

Bill Lautner

Wasuremono
Photography
Kimiko Satterfield

Kimiko Satterfield
Forgotten waste, forgotten place
Everyday’s the same in the alleyway

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