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 Momma hollered out the back door “Y’all re member to wipe your feet!”
And then she said, I got some news this mornin from Choctaw Ridge
Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.
And Poppa said to Momma as he passed around the blackeyed 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 Momma said it was shame about Billie Joe anyhow,
Seems like nothing ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge.
And now Billie Joe McAllister 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 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 up on Choctaw Ridge.
And now you tell me Billie Joe’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.
Momma said to me “Child what’s happened to your appetite?
Why, I’ve been cooking 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 Billie Joe was throwing something off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”
A year has come and gone since we heard the news bout Billie Joe
Brother married Becky Thompson they bought a store in Tupelo,
There was a virus going round Poppa caught it and he died last Spring.
And now Momma 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.