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Here’s the Boss (pic taken last June), making an appearance so he can supervise our efforts today!
Every 3rd of June I post this deftly worded mystery in song form, Ode to Billie Joe, written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry. In 1967 it was number one for four weeks and it even knocked the Beatles out of first place; it stayed on the charts for 20 weeks. It had eight Grammy nominations, with four wins.
This is the best version for vocals, IMO.
IMO the song is effective and lasting partly because it doesn’t provide an answer, but leaves the listener wondering and imagining.
I think this song endures because it has authenticity; Bobby Gentry grew up in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and speaks with an accent and rhythm of the US Deep South, where I now live, and the lyrics are worded in ways I’ve actually heard used here. That makes it real; sometimes everyone everywhere can recognize the sound of real people talking even though they may not have heard the actual speakers. That’s how stories become implanted in minds and resonate, even across years. That’s also part of why the song was such a hit, in my opinion.
This version has IMO the best visuals, plus an explanation of how the rivers are positioned.
I was captivated by this song when I first heard it, though it was years later, after I’d learned more about how storytelling works, when I realized just how brilliant it is.
Summer photos from May/June last year:
When I wrote my MUSE Award winning cat book I tried to capture the daily aural ambiance of the place I live in, a university town surrounded by coal mines, agricultural lands, and industrial areas. I mixed scholarly language with occasional local sayings, and I also borrowed from many regions of the US, several other languages, old counter-cultural slang, and from the expanding terminology of cat people, as in “floofer”. Language and the way it forms and grows is a topic that fascinates me.
Links to get the book are at the upper right and on the page “Order the MUSE-Award-winning book.”
Her sweetness Moonpie is here to close. All our cats are thriving and we’ll get back soon with pictures of all those kitties! Still working through some computer issues.