“Billy & Sue” – BJ Thomas (1966)

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This is a story about Billy and Sue
They were as in love as were any two
And yet Billy had to die
And when you hear the reason why
You’ll hang your head and cry

Billy and Sue met the first day of school
And ever since lived by the golden rule
Because they’ll do unto others
What you wouldn’t want done to you
You’d have to be a fool

This mutual agreement of love and trust
They would travel the road
To marriage or bust
And when Billy was old enough to take a wife
He was old enough to fight for his country
And its way of life

Sue’s letters came every day
Strengthened his cause they showed him the way
To fight for his country and the girl he loved
That’s a soldier’s only pay

But then Billy heard no more from Sue
He was worried sick but what could he do
The bullets were screaming as he hugged the ground
And back home Sue was runnin’ round

Billy was getting’ less and less strong
His hope his fate was almost gone
And then like a miracle the letter appeared
Billy tore the letter open and he read dear John

A look came over Billy that would scare a ghost
Familiar look seen on soldiers coast to coast
And even though the air was filled with lead
Billy jumped up they shot him dead

Billy was buried in a faraway grave
It read for his country his life he gave
But that epitaph was only a part
He didn’t die from a bullet but he died from a broken heart



“Billy & Sue” of BJ Thomas is a song that could give a soldier’s funeral more meaning. This song hit the number 34 slot in the Hot 100 in 1966 and was one of the major hit of this singer. BJ Thomas’ other popular hits included “Hooked On a Feeling” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Although “Billy & Sue” didn’t quite get the same popularity, this song remarkably paints a more realistic figure of why soldiers die. As the song says, Billy and Sue started their relationship right. However, when Billy got drafted to be part of the armed forces during the Vietnam War, but continued receiving Sue’s letters. However, time came that no more letters were coming from Sue. When at last he received a letter presumably from Sue, upon opening it, he found that it was addressed to someone named John. This led Billy to throw all caution to the wind while in the battlefield and got hit by a bullet and died as a result.


“Billy & Sue” does not get much playtime these days but if you will play it on a soldier’s funeral, it will really strike a chord in the hearts of those who will care to listen. This song will resonate with most soldiers and their families especially those who served in the war. If you are looking for songs like these, there are more at www.songmeanings.net.