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Holy moly...talk about a walk down memory lane......
If memory serves correctly, the song was cryptic enough where nobody could really figure out what was being thrown off the bridge....baby, flowers, or whatever.
I think in the movie version (with Robbie Benson and Glynnis O'Connor), good ol' Billy Joe had one of them homosexual encounters, and done kilt himself over the guilt. Then, Bobbie, finding out she was pregnant with his babushka after he done kilt himself, tosses either the baby (cause she can't raise the kid without him) or flowers (cause she misses him so much) off the bridge.
That's my recollection....but I make no guarantees.....and I don't think there is a definitive answer.
I never imagined there was a political agenda in the question or the possible answers. Now if I had asked a question about:
Fighting soldiers from the sky
I could understand the politics, but that was 1966 and I only went back to '67.
Hey Onhwy -- I have never taken a poll, but I'll bet I am one of only a very few people here on Agon that has an original "Ballads of the Green Beret" LP by SSgt. Barry Sadler. As an impressionable 11 year old, I was pretty much vulnerable to the progoganda machine, and I bought this LP with my allowance when Ballad of the Green Berets was filling the AM airwaves ad nauseum. Ahhh...memories!
Nice to hear from you Mr. Ebersol, how are things at NBC?
According to what I read, the winner of an auction to find this out had to sign a legal document that forbade them from disclosing the information. The winner was Dick Ebersol of NBC. Don't worry I doubt that Carly or her lawyers read these posts.
Her website has a whole series of interviews on the subject
The reason I started this post is because two weekends ago I saw Lucinda Williams. She was great. Did primarily older material, but also did 4 or 5 new songs. Says she has enough recorded material for two new albums. Anyway, her final encore was "Ode to Billie Joe". It just got me thinking about how conroversial the song was when it first came out. A song about suicide with a mystery element. I'm not sure it really matters what was thrown off the bridge. It's kind of like all suicides, even if there is a note, you never really understand why.