Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 1967: "Ode to Billy Joe" was # 1

A few days ago, I saw a video of Bobbie Gentry singing her big country hit "Ode to Billy Joe".    I think that it was her only hit but she did record some songs with Glen Campbell.

It is one of the most intriguing song lyrics ever.   I love Bobbie's very strong southern accent.  I love the lyrics and her singing of small town life in Mississippi.  

And let me add that she is very good looking "Southern girl" too!

I even remember a "made for TV" movie about this song.    It did not do the song any justice!  Bad movie!  Don't watch it!  Don't waste your time!

"Ode" was one of the biggest hits of the late 1960's and won Bobbie a bunch of awards.    It is also # 419 in Rolling Stone's Top 500 songs of all time.

It also left a lot of us wondering about Billy Joe and why he jumped off the bridge.    Why?  Why did he do it?  Who pushed him?

Click for the song:

"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"
And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billy 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 Billy 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
And Brother said he recollected when he
and Tom and Billie 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 Billie Joe's
jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"
And 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
And 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...."

Tags: Bobbie Gentry Ode to Billy Joe  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!




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