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  #41  
Old 24 July 2007, 12:24 PM
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I just might be the only person in history who read about the song before I'd ever heard it. In the article I read, Bobbie Gentry said essentially that it didn't matter what they threw off the bridge; that was beside the point of the song, which was the callous indifference the girl's family showed her when they heard the news. For that reason, I never really stopped to think what they threw off the bridge once I did hear the song. I do like the love token theory, though.
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  #42  
Old 24 July 2007, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
I just might be the only person in history who read about the song before I'd ever heard it.
You might be the first, but not the only one - I first read about this song when I clicked on this very thread yesterday and looked it up on Wikipedia after that. I've yet to hear the song.

Don Enrico
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  #43  
Old 24 July 2007, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
You might be the first, but not the only one - I first read about this song when I clicked on this very thread yesterday and looked it up on Wikipedia after that. I've yet to hear the song.

Don Enrico
I rather like it; I have to admit a weakness for ballads. :o But I've always felt the music evokes the laziness of a hot Southern summer, and the gossippy nature of people. Although I haven't heard it in ages.
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  #44  
Old 24 July 2007, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
My personal theory it was some sort of love token (ring, whatever) exchanged between them. They broke up on the bridge, possibly prompted by the girl because her parents don't approve of Billie Joe, the casual way the parents bring up his suicide over dinner, adding that he never had a lick of sense indicates this.

The love token was tossed into the river symbolically. Billie Joe couldn't handle the rejection and came back to the same spot later and killed himself. The girl feels guilty she lost her appetite, cannot confide in her parents because they are obviously unsympathetic towards the fate of Billie Joe, and her only outlet for her grief is to pick flowers and to toss them into the water.
This was always my theory, also: she either refused or returned his ring. He tossed it, then followed it.

Four Kitties
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  #45  
Old 24 July 2007, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
As I said, it happens. However, it's one thing to hide a pregnancy when you're a mostly idle suburban teenage girl who lives in a spacious home with parents who both work and hardly see you, you spend a fair amount of time away from home (at school and with friends), and you can buy new clothing as needed for concealment; it's quite another thing when (as is presumably the case in the song) you're a poor, rural girl living in close quarters with parents and a sibling and spending your days doing physical labor.
Especially since her mother monitors her appetite so carefully. I always found this the major problem with the dead baby theory.
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  #46  
Old 24 July 2007, 04:40 PM
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I always thought she and Billie Joe killed someone and threw his body off the bridge. Somebody saw them doing it and Billie Joe killed himself because he didn't want to be caught and sent to jail. The body wasn't found, but the girl goes to the bridge repeatedly to make sure it stays that way.

Clearly, I watch way too many horror movies and crime shows.
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  #47  
Old 24 July 2007, 05:33 PM
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Actually, I know someone from England with just a passing familiarity with the song, who wanted to know whether it had anything to do with Emmett Till, whose body washed up on the banks of the Tallahatchie.

So, Billie Joe & the girl lynched a black boy for winking at her, then weighted the body down with a wagon wheel, and threw it off the bridge. Billie Joe either couldn't deal with the guilt, or thought the law was after him.

Seriously, I always thought it was a love token too. This explains the girl's guilt-- if she hadn't rejected him, he wouldn't have killed himself.

It's a creepy song that scared me when I was a kid.
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  #48  
Old 24 July 2007, 05:38 PM
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Weighted the body down with a wagon wheel?



How would that work?
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  #49  
Old 24 July 2007, 05:48 PM
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Don't you know how many calories those things have? They just force-fed him a couple, and the rest is history.

I just looked this up on Wikipedia, and it quote Bobbie Gentry as saying she didn't have a reason for Billie Joe's suicide-- the song was about the callous reaction of the family, not the suicide itself. That being the case, the McGuffin isn't of necessity anything that precipitates the suicide.

So why does the girl keep throwing flowers off the bridge? Is it like leaving flowers on a grave? Surely Billie Joe is buried somewhere-- I mean, if the body didn't wash up, how'd people know he threw himself off the bridge in the first place?
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  #50  
Old 24 July 2007, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
So why does the girl keep throwing flowers off the bridge? Is it like leaving flowers on a grave? Surely Billie Joe is buried somewhere-- I mean, if the body didn't wash up, how'd people know he threw himself off the bridge in the first place?
Well, I have seen a couple of places at least (one on the A20 into Maidstone, one on the A229 into Maidstone) where someone was killed in a car accident. I don't know the details, but fresh flowers are regularly placed in those spots, and it has been happening for years. Presumably the deceased have graves, but the bereaved feel the need to mark those spots.
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  #51  
Old 24 July 2007, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
Oh, would that all Billy Joel albums were cast into the mucky depths of the Tallahatchie River. God, I hate Billy Joel with a white hot passion. Growing up on Long Island, his awful music is shoved down your throat at any given opportunity.
So are you trying to say that you're no Uptown Girl who goes head over heals for a Piano Man who Loves You Just The Way You are, but laments that Only The Good Die Young when he talks to The Stranger on 52nd Street who, in return tells him to bugger off, and that it's My Life?
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  #52  
Old 24 July 2007, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
So are you trying to say that you're no Uptown Girl who goes head over heals for a Piano Man who Loves You Just The Way You are, but laments that Only The Good Die Young when he talks to The Stranger on 52nd Street who, in return tells him to bugger off, and that it's My Life?
Not unless he's a Big Shot, in which case I'm Movin' Out.
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  #53  
Old 24 July 2007, 06:54 PM
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Not unless he's a Big Shot, in which case I'm Movin' Out.
You May Be Right....that would just be too much Pressure.

Magdalene
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  #54  
Old 24 July 2007, 07:00 PM
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Not unless he's a Big Shot, in which case I'm Movin' Out.
Wil you Say Goodbye To Hollywood (Florida, that is)? Or will you still be in Miami 2017?
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  #55  
Old 24 July 2007, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Nope, he kept his pretty head low the night they drove old Dixie down.
Then they met some Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.
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  #56  
Old 24 July 2007, 08:46 PM
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I read the lyrics yesterday after reading this thread. I wondered myself if the thing thrown off the bridge had to be relevant. The two of them could've just liked throwing stones in the river.

But yeah, as brief as a song is, it seems like you would try to make anything you were putting into that limited space be something important.

Although I'm sure we could name several hundred that include completely pointless information...
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  #57  
Old 24 July 2007, 11:31 PM
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Unauthorized hijack! Unauthorized hijack! Please bring the Billy Joel to another thread. That is all.
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  #58  
Old 24 July 2007, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
I read the lyrics yesterday after reading this thread. I wondered myself if the thing thrown off the bridge had to be relevant. The two of them could've just liked throwing stones in the river.
I don't know. I felt there was an cryptic feel when the mother says, "He said he saw a girl who looked like you up on Choctaw Ridge. And she and Billy Joe was throwing something off of Talahachi Bridge."
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  #59  
Old 24 July 2007, 11:50 PM
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I read that as Brother Taylor didn't approve of the union between Billie Joe and the girl, and was trying to grass her up to her parents, but without actually coming out with it straight - "I saw a girl who looked a lot like your daughter with Billie Joe. Not that I'm saying it was her of course."
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  #60  
Old 25 July 2007, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
Unauthorized hijack! Unauthorized hijack! Please bring the Billy Joel to another thread. That is all.
As opposed to an authorized hijack?

I'm referring your post to the Department of Redundancy Department.

Four Kitties
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