It was the third of June, another sleepy dusty Delta day
I was out chopping cotton and my brother was baling 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 she got some news this morning from Choctaw Ridge
Today, Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge
Papa said to mama, as he passed around the black-eyed peas
"Well, Billie Joe never had a lick of sense; pass the biscuits, please
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I gotta plow"
And mama said it was shame about Billie Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie 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 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 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 cooking all morning and you haven't touched a single bite
And 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 somethin' 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, 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 pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge