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3 Answers

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Ode to Billie Joe  by Bobby Gentry ?


Correct! :)


Excellent my friend ! :)

+1 vote

I was thinking of the song "Ode to Billie Joe".


Bobbie Gentry referred to a young boy-friend who committed suicide, but the reason was not given. A later movie referred to Billie committing suicide after a drunken homosexual experience.

Actually, here in Continental Europe, we heard first the version by Joe Dassin, Marie-Jeanne, in this case a teen girl, who committed suicide on June 4th; hence Billie Joe McAllister is transformed into Marie-Jeanne Guillaume, the Tallahatchie river is opposed to the Garonne river, Choctaw Ridge becomes Bourg-les-Essonnes ...

The story is a classic tragedy about a frequent taboo theme in the 60ies, i.e. a too naive teen girl and illegal abortion in rural, sexist and very religious surroundings - which drove her into suicide, because her boy-friend was ashamed of their relationship, and about the sister of the priest who wanted to remind the young man of his responsibilities.

Bobbie Gentry:

Joe Dassin:


Bobbie Gentry created a legendary song that is still popular today.



Yes, and she wrote the song herself, which was rare for female singers in these times.

In Europe, the version by Joe Dassin came out 1 day later, and it was a success.

A Swedish version (same as Bobbie Gentry's story, only set in rural Swedish surroundings) was also recorded in 1967:

This is just to say that, sometimes, news and stories from the other side of the "Great Pond" came over the indirect way.

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