The 5th Dimension – Ode To Billy Joe

Track from Bell 9000 (LP)

The 5th Dimension - Live!!
Ode To Billy Joe


It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta
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
"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
And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good up on Choctaw
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
And wasn’t I talkin’ to him after church last Sunday
"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
"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

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