I’m sure some will find this a somewhat out-of-place writing for this series of posts, but I find Ode to Billie Joe to be a compelling work of poetry.  Country music songwriters are, on the whole, in my view, the best songwriters in popular music.  They tell stories, frequently compelling ones.  Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe is a particularly compelling one, a Southern Gothic, contrasting the suicidal death of a young man with the indifference of those discussing it and the mystery of what the narrator knew to be the cause, a mystery which remains unanswered.  Ode to Billie Joe was released 50 years ago this summer and as the open line dates the fictional events as having occurred on this date, June 3, I decided to post a YouTube video.  I am omitting the lyrics as they are, of course, still in copyright.