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"
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 peas
"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 plow"
And Mama said it was shame
about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes
to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
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 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 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 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 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 Bridge