Friday, June 28, 2013

Sleepy dusty delta day........

I am sure many of you are off to a cottage or the beach this weekend. Whatever little abode you find yourselves in, have a wonderful weekend. And just to put a little "Ear Worm" in your head, have a listen to this Bobbie Gentry song Ode to Billy Joe from the 1970's. I guarantee you'll be humming along to this song all weekend. Click HERE to listen Ode to Billy Joe

If it rains this weekend, pass the time making up your own lyrics to the song.....(done that). The mystery of the song makes a PERFECT book club type discussion...sample questions you can debate around the campfire after a  few gin and tonics and the kids are in bed.
  • Was she in love with Billy Joe?
  • Why were the family so nonchalant in their discussion
  • Mamma called her "child" a common endearment in black families in the South at the time. Was Billy Joe that why their romance was a secret. Or was Billy Joe Balck and she was the South in the 1970's remember.
  • Why were the brothers not upset...they used to play with him
  • Why the reference to the nice young preacher...did Mamma want the girl to date the preacher
  • Why did the preacher mention he saw a girl "looked just like you?"
  • Was Billy Joe gay? Many discussions on the song imply this.
  • Had Billy Joe or the girl confessed to the preacher.
  • Did they kill someone...maybe threw the body off the bridge.
  • Was Mamma invited the preacher so girl could talk to him about Billy Joe.
  • Did the family know she was in love with Billy Joe.
  • If she was pregnant, why didn;t they get married...or if he or she was black in those days inter racial marriage was frowned upon.
  • A lot of people think they threw a baby off the bridge...a secret from the family.
  • If mamma knew, she was going to cover it up. Is that why she invited the preacher for dinner.
  • Did the preacher know Billy Joe's secret.
  • Chocktaw Ridge was the "other side of the tracks" (Nothing good ever came from Chocktaw Ridge). Was the girl from a wealthier family that frowned upon the people from the other side of town.
  • He put a frog down her back at a "picture Show"...were they friends back then.
  • What did they throw from the Tallahachie Bridge....


  1. I think this is the first time I ever REALLY listened to this song, Chania. I love how she brings us directly into the scene with her family and still telling her story.
    Now you have me thinking about this and it is going to be raining here in Nova Scotia all weekend, so....
    Thanks for this and have a good weekend.

  2. I always assumed they were both very young black kids. Probably because the mom said child. I imagined that she was pregnant out of wedlock. All of the mentions of the preacher show that the family was very religious and a baby before marriage would be devastating to the family. Thus the baby was thrown off of the bridge after being born and his guilt caused him to follow. Maybe he was white. That would make sense as to why they weren't getting married and the family was so unaffected by the death. Thanks for the thoughts. I've always been intrigued by that song. I so love all of the birdhouse photos. Always a pleasure to visit here.

  3. Do you remember there was a made for TV movie starring Robbie Benson about the song. Check out the IMDb for the movie and all of your questions will be answered! Thanks for the blast from the past, I LOVE this song, and Bobbie Gentry. Penny

  4. Loved loved loved this song..............always thought it was a mixed relationship - white girl - black boy - pregnancy etc.............


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania