Ode To Billy Joe Bobbie Gentry
I[F7]t was the third of June,
A[Cm7]noth[F7]er sleepy, dusty, delta day,
I[F7] was out choppin' cotton
A[Cm7]nd m[F7]y b rother was bailin' hay
A[Bb7]nd at d inner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
A[F7]nd Mama h ollered at the back door,
"[Cm7]Y'al[F7]l re member to wipe your feet."
T[Bb7]hen she sai d,
"I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
T[F7]oday Billy Joe McAllister
J[Eb7]umpe[F]d off the Tallahatchee Bridge ."
And brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billy Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show.
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right.
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge,
And now you tell me Billy Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge."
Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?
I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite.
That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today,
Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday. Oh, by the way,
He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge
And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge."
A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe.
Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo.
There was a virus going 'round, papa caught it and he died last spring,
And now mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything.
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge,
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.