Ode to billy joe by Natalie Merchant
it was the 3rd of June another sleepy dusty delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was bailin' hay.
at dinner time we stopped off on down to the house to eat
and mama hollered out the backdoor y'all remember to wipe your feet.
she said i heard bit of news this mornin' from choctaw ridge
seems that Billy Joe macallister's jumped off the tallahatchee bridge.
well papa said to mama as he passed around the black eyed peas
Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits please
there's 5 more acres in the lower 40 I got to plow
mama said was a shame about billy joe anyhow
seems that nothin' never comes to no good up on choctaw ridge and now you
tell me Billy Joe has jumped off the tallahatchee bridge.
brother recollected when he and tom and billy joe
put a frog down my back at the carol couty picture show
and wasnt I talkin' to him after church last sunday night
I'll have another piece of apple pie but oh it dont seem right
saw him at the sawmill yesterday up on choctaw ridge
and now you tell me Billy Joe has jumped off the tallahatchee bridge
mama said to me child what's happened to your appetite?
I've been cooking all morning and you haven't touched a single bite
that nice young preacher brother Taylor dropped by today,
said he'd be pleased have dinner on Sunday,
oh by the way
said he saw a girl who looked alot like you up on choctaw ridge
and she and Billy Joe was throwin' something off the tallahatchee bridge.
a year's come and gone since we heard the news about Billy Joe
brother married Becky Thompson and they bought a store in tupelo
was a virus goin round and papa caught and he died last spring
now mama doesnt seem to wanto do much of anything
me I spend alot of my time pickin flowers up on choctaw ridge
and throw 'em into the muddy water off the tallahatchee bridge.