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Tammy Wynette Lyrics
"Ode to Billie Joe"

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(Bobbie Gentry)

It was the third of June
Another sleepy dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton
And my brother was bailin' hay.

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

And then she said I got the news
This mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
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 if you 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 Ridge
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 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
Up on Choctaw Ridge
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 cookin' all mornin'
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 Ridge
She and Billie Joe was throwin'
Somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

One year has come and gone
Since we heard the news about Billie Joe
Brother married Becky Thompson
And they bought a store in Tupelo.

There was virus goin' 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
Pickin' flowers upon Chotaw Ridge
And dropped 'em into the
Muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge...
This song is from the album "The World of Tammy Wynette [Epic]", "Take Me to Your World/I Don't Wanna Play House [Epic]", "The First Songs of the First Lady [Epic]", "Winners [Sony]" and "Til' I get It Right [Platinum Disc]".