This song haunted me in earlier days. The lyrics seems so incomplete despite there being a lot of words here. They are oblique and mysterious. I'll never know to my satisfaction what she and Billy Joe were throwing off the Tallahatchie bridge. I'll never know why she never said a word at the dinner table when the subject came up. I can only speculate, and I think that's really the brilliance of the song. You get this feeling that the clues are all there, and so you listen... but the clues are not there, they are only in your own head.