It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was baling hay
At dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "Ya'll remember to wipe your feet"
Then she said "I got some news this morning from Chocktow Ridge
Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahachee Bridge"
Papa said to Mama as he passed around the black eyed peas
"Well Billy 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 Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothing ever comes to no good on Chocktow Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahachee Bridge
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
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 on Chocktow Ridge
And she and Billy Joe was throwing something off the Tallahachee Bridge"
A year has come and gone since we heard the news about Billy 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 wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time picking flowers up on Chocktow Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahachee Bridge