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Bobbie Gentry is 61 today. so, what was thrown off the Tallahatchie

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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:01 AM
Original message
Bobbie Gentry is 61 today. so, what was thrown off the Tallahatchie
bridge?

b. 7-27-1944, Chickasaw County, MS (Roberta Lee Streeter)

ARTIST: Bobbie Gentry
TITLE: Ode to Billie Joe


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"
Then she said, "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
Today Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge"

Papa said to Mama as he passed around the black-eyed peas
"Well, Billie Joe never had a lick o' sense, pass the biscuits, please
There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was a shame about Billie Joe anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe McAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchee 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 on Choctaw Ridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge"

Mama said to me, "Child what's happened to your appetite?
I been cookin' all mornin' and you haven't touched 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 Billie Joe was throwin' somethin' off the Tallahatchee Bridge"

A year has come and gone since I heard the news 'bout Billie Joe
Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a 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 spend a lot of time picking flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchee Bridge

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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. A dead body?
:shrug:

One of the great mysteries of song.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. That was what I figured, too, but whose?
Today, I suspect Gentry had no idea, she just wrote some words that took on a life of their own, but that's so unromantic.

It's more fun to play lyric detective.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. Jimmy Hoffa
Obviously!
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
3. Hopefully her guitar, amps and microphone..........
but I suppose we couldn't get that lucky! :eyes:
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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I could hear the rim shot even here!
:-)

BTW: was Bobbie Gentry a one hit wonder? I don't recall hearing anything else from her.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. Like many of the best song lyrics.....
.... the words are ambiguous enough to let the listener draw their own conclusion.

I have my own idea, which is at odds with the movie later made based on this song, but I don't want to prejudice anyone's own interpretation :)
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. What didi they throw off in the movie?
I saw it once about 20 years ago and I can't remember. Was it a doll?
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I didn't see it..
... I only read about it. I'm not sure what they threw or if they even did. I just know that my interpretation of what was thrown would make no sense with the theme of the movie.

Sorry to be of no help at all :)
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. It was a doll
that she had since childhood.

I LOVED that movie when I was a kid; thought Robbie Benson was soooo hot...

That and "Love Story," and now that I am 41, I think both of them are melodramatic and stupid.

It's sad to grow up.
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