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Sometimes the best part of your story is the part you leave out.

It was a story of repressed family drama -- of hidden heartbreak and coded meanings exchanged over biscuits and blackeyed peas. But most of all, Ode To Billie Joe was a sultry Southern mystery whose unanswered questions were a national obsession at the moment of your birth. What did Billie Joe McAlister and the song's protagonist throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge? What made Billie Joe throw himself off the bridge just a few days later? According to a 1978 Robbie Benson television movie, the answers were (1) a rag doll; and (2) a simmering sexual-identity crisis of which said rag doll was somehow richly symbolic. That Bobbie Gentry herself co-wrote the script for this movie does little to satisfy skeptics, especially those still troubled by the role of the "nice young preacher" Brother Taylor. For them, the omigod-I'm-a-gay-man-in-a-redneck-world explanation for the events up on Choctaw Ridge has all the credibility that the magic-bullet theory does for Oliver Stone. File your Birthsong alongside You're So Vain among pop's greatest unsolved mysteries, and be thankful to your Birthstar for endowing you with an uncanny ability to hold an audience by knowing when to spill the beans and when to hold them in reserve.
Birthsong
Ode To Billy Joe  Aug 20-Sep 16, 1967
Carrie-Anne Moss (8/21/67) is a child of Bobbie Gentry.


2004 All rights reserved. "Popstrology" is a trademark of Ian Van Tuyl.



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