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    Tallahatchie River

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    Tallahatchie River

    Post  Guest on Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:07 pm

    Though best known from the song "Ode to Billie Joe" and the film (spelled differently) Ode to Billy Joe, which has the refrain, Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge, the river has historical significance due to the murder of Emmett Till, an African American youth who was beaten, shot, and sunk in the river by a cotton gin fan tied around his neck by barbed wire. This event is mentioned in another song, "Freedom Highway," by The Staple Singers, in the lines, "Found dead people in the forests, Tallahatchie River and lakes", "Whole world is wondering, what's wrong with the United States?"
    A third song that mentions the Tallahatchie river is "Tallahatchie River Blues," recorded by Mattie Delaney in 1930. This blues song records the devastation caused in the local African American community by a flood on the normally shallow river. The river is 50 feet deep with very sharp rocks that would impale you upon impact.

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