Bobby Gentry – Ode to Billie Joe

6. november 2007

Omtalen af “Harper Valley PTA” fik mig til at ihukomme en anden fin sang fra perioden. Bobbie Gentrys “Ode to Billie Joe” fra 1967, hvor den lÃ¥ pÃ¥ den amerikanske singleførsteplads.
Bobbie Gentry, hvis borgerlige og temmelig usælgelige navn er Roberta Lee Streeter, er en begavet sanger og sangskriver, der stammer fra Chickasaw County i Mississippi, hvor hun kom til verden den 27. juli 1944. Efter sit store hit med sangen om Billie Joe havde hun nogle succesfulde Ã¥r frem til midten af halvfjerdserne, hvor det gik den anden vej, og hun besluttede at sige farvel til showbiz. En skam, for Bobby Gentry kunne godt skrue en god melodi og en god tekst sammen. For mig er sangen om Billie Joe, der springer ud fra broen, et fremragende eksempel pÃ¥, at pop- og rock-sange ikke behøver at være ensbetydende med dÃ¥rlige sangtekster. Her fÃ¥r vi nærmest en lille novelle – en Southern Gothic Tale – serveret og foredraget af Bobby Gentry. En fortælling, der er som grebet ud af hverdagen. Sangen gav anledning til megen diskussion dengang. Hvorfor sprang Billie i døden? Og hvad lavede hovedpersonen pÃ¥ broen sammen med Billie? Var Billie mÃ¥ske sort og pigen hvid og…? En begavet tekst.

Ode to Billie Joe

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 out the back door “y’all remember to wipe your feet”
And then she said “I got some news this mornin’ from Choctaw Ridge”
“Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
“Well, Billy 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 Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister’s 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 talkin’ 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 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 Billy Joe was throwing somethin’ off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

A year has come ‘n’ gone since we heard the news ’bout Billy Joe
And 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 pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

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3 kommentarer

  1. Niels Erik Kjeldsen kommentarer:

    Tjek Sort Sols version pÃ¥ “Everything That Rises Must Converge”.

  2. capac kommentarer:

    @Niels Erik Kjeldsen: Ja, den burde jeg selvfølgelig have nævnt, så det er godt, du gør det!

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