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Ode To Billy Joe Bobby Gentry
It was the [D7]third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was [D7]out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at [G7]dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And [D7]Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And [G7]then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today [D7]Billy Joe MacAllister jumped [C7]off the Tallahatchie [G7]Bridge"
. . . .
'n' [D7]Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well [D7]Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's [G7]five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
'n' [D7]Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like [G7]nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now [D7]Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped [C7]off the Tallahatchie [G7]Bridge
. . . .
'n' [D7]Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a [D7]frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And [G7]wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll [D7]have another piece-a apple pie, you know it don't seem right"
"I [G7]saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"
"And now ya [D7]tell me Billie Joe's jumped [C7]off the Tallahatchie [G7]Bridge"
. . . .
'n' [D7]Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"
"I've been [D7]cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"
"That [G7]nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"
"Said [D7]he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"
"He said he [G7]saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"
"And she and [D7]Billy Joe was throwing somethin' [C7]off the Tallahatchie [G7]Bridge"
. . . .
A [D7]year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe
'n' [D7]Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a [G7]virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now [D7]Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And [G7]me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them [D7]into the muddy water [C7]off the Tallahatchie [G7]Bridge