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 at the back door, "Y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said she got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge
Papa said to mama 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've got to 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
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge
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 Billie Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"
A year has come and gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe
My 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 my 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
I dropped them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge