Wendy Moten – Ode To Billy Joe Lyrics

It was the third of June
Another sleepy dusty Delta day
I was out choppin’ cotton
And my brother was balin’ hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And mama hollered out the back door
“y’all, remember to wipe your feet!”
And then she said,”I got some news this mornin’ from Choctaw Ridge
Today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

Papa said to mama, as he passed around the blackeyed peas
“Billie Joe never had a lick of sense;
Pass the biscuits, please…
There’s five more acres in the lower forty I’ve got to plow”
And mama said it was shame about Billie Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good, up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Brother said he recollected when he, and Tom, and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
Wasn’t I talking 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, up on Choctaw Ridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

Mama said to me, “Child, what’s happened to your appetite?”
“Well 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, and oh by the way
He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge
And she & Billie Joe was throwing somethin’ off
The Tallahatchie Bridge”

A year has come and gone since we heard the news about Billie 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 want to 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

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