What Was Thrown Off the Tallahatchie Bridge?

Think back, think way back... it's 1967 and the voice on the AM starts:

It was the third of June,
another sleepy, dusty Delta day.
I was out choppin' cotton
and my brother was balin' hay.

Midway through the song the preacher says the other day he saw a girl with Billy Joe throwing something off the bridge. What was thrown? Anybody from Choctaw Ridge have an answer?

BTW, the real Tallahatchie Bridge collapsed in 1972.
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 saw an interview with Bobbie Gentry a few years ago and the question was asked of her. She wouldn't give a straight answer, I got the impression that she enjoyed the controversy surrounding the question. Kinda like the speculation on who was Carly Simon referring to in "You're so Vain"
Actually it was Hillary Clinton and she was throwing old slick Willy off the bridge for "not having sexual relations" with (insert name of whichever young impressionable girl) he seduced this week!
Hillary. Ooops that's wrong; it would take more than one person to handle the load.
An engagement ring. By the way R Burke, Carly's song, she was talking about Warren Beatty that was so vain.
Hillary's unaccustomed to handling loads of late. She can however peddle a load as good as anyone :)
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
Fearless men who jump and die
Men who mean just what they say
The brave men of the Green Beret

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!
How about the money that the federal Govt. sent to Louisianna to fix those levies over the last 20 years? You don't hear abut that on national news.

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

I remember when the song and movie came out and everyone thought it was either a ring or a baby, Bobbie Gentry never would say either way. As far as the Carly Simon song, I always thought it was Warren Beatty too. Kind of a sarcastic post Mr. Burke.
It's about Warren Beatty. Mick Jagger sings the back-round vocals. This is very old news.
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.
Inquiring minds want to know just what exactly happened ‘The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia”. Was it similar to that fabled “Afternoon Delight”?
With their eyes is how exactly someone would see a ring or anything else thrown off a bridge. It's the throwing MOTION your arm makes that one see's. Who throws babies off of bridges anyway?