There was a kid named Johnny DeRoux,
A boy in every sense of the word.
I took one look at him, small and lean,
And I thought: he'll never amount to anything.
Little Johnny DeRoux survived the boot camps,
And followed me to war.
It was nothing he was prepared for,
And I thought: he'll get me killed here.
Into the trench I went,
With Johnny DeRoux,
Who had a gun bigger than he, and looked more fit for a kitchen,
And I thought: he'll be the end of me.
Johnny DeRoux saw his first real action a mere hour later,
He knuckled down beside me and returned the fire,
And had aim better than I.
And I thought: there may be hope yet.
That night, ducking about in the dark,
Johnny DeRoux aged decades.
'Barely got to start' he told me, holding the hand of a long gone friend.
And I thought: ain't that the truth.
Dawn was still far away,
When enemy footsteps woke me and Johnny DeRoux.
Shouts and hoarse whispers rang from every side, coupled with the sounds of bullets.
Johnny DeRoux stood tall, wavered, yet stayed firm.
And I thought: by the end of it, we'll all be broken.
Feet light, trying to blend with the fading dark,
We stalked about our camp, finding those who had invaded, done wrong.
Johnny DeRoux shoved me to the ground,
And I thought: that damn DeRoux.
I ached from my fall, but before I could stand,
There was a gunshot.
Johnny DeRoux collapsed,
And I thought: hell, kid, why'd you have to die for me?
By the time the sun was high, we could call ourselves victors, though not by much,
We'd lost so much, including young Johnny DeRoux,
And all I could think was: damn, that kid's my hero.