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Tammy Wynette
"Ode To Billie Joe" lyrics

Ode To Billie Joe

It was the third of June
Another sleepy dusty Delta day
I was out chopping cotton
And my brother was bailing hay

And at dinner time we stopped and walked back
To the house to eat
And mama hollered at the backdoor
"Y'all remember to wipe your feet"

And then she said, "I got the news
This morning from Choctaw Wridge
Today Billie Joe Macallister's
Jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

Papa said to mama
As he passed around the black eyed peas
"Well, Billie Joe never had a lick of sense
Pass the biscuits please

There's five more acres
In the lower forty I got to plow"
And mama said it was a shame
About Billie Joe anyhow

Seems like nothing ever comes
To no good upon Choctaw Wridge
And now Billie 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

"And 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
Upon Choctaw Wridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe
Has jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

Mama said to me, "Child
What's happened to your apetite?
Well, I've been cooking all morning
And you haven't touched a single bite

That nice young preacher
Brother Tailor 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 upon Choctaw Wridge
And she and Billie Joe was throwing something off
The Tallahatchie Bridge"

One 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 the 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 spent a lot of time
Picking flowers upon Chotaw Wridge
And dropped them into the muddy water
Off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Authors: Bobbie Gentry