Credit: n/aAmerican TV icon Andy Griffith passed away at 86-years-young this morning, reports the L.A. Times. Of his many milestones in the industry -  Matlock, A Face in the Crowd – Griffith’s role in the eponymous The Andy Griffith Show (1960-68) made the talent synonymous with small town values, the show’s equally iconic opening scene depicting Griffith as “Sheriff Andy Taylor,” strolling to a fishing hole with co-star Ron Howard as “Opie,” as a whistle-skip plays along.

That whistle skip was near impossible not to follow along to – a powerful trigger to a simpler time in American values. But the oft overlooked fact is that the melody had lyrics, written by fellow actor/songwriter, Everett Sloane, that Griffith Show producers trimmed down for opening segment purposes. And Griffith the man, side singer/songwriter, recorded a version of it once, finger-snap country-crooning along. Dubbed simply “The Fishin’ Hole,” it’s a perfect remembrance of Griffith’s legacy, and the meditative magic that happens when America slows down to enjoy itself. R.I.P. Griffith.

 

Well, now, take down your fishin’ pole
And meet me at The Fishin’ Hole,
We may not get a bite all day
But don’t you rush away

 

What a great place to rest your bones,
And mighty fine for skippin’ stones,
You’ll feel fresh as a lemonade,
A-settin’ in the shade

 

Whether it’s hot,
Whether it’s cool,
Oh what a spot
For whistlin’ like a fool

 

What a fine day to take a stroll
And wander by The Fishin’ Hole,
I can’t think of a better way
To pass the time o’ day

 

We’ll have no need to call the roll
When we get to The Fishin’ Hole,
There’ll be you, me, and Old Dog Trey
To doodle time away

 

If we don’t hook a perch or bass,
We’ll cool our toes in dewy grass,
Or else pull up a weed to chaw,
And maybe set and jaw

 

Hangin’ around,
Takin’ our ease,
Watchin’ that hound
A-scratchin’ at his fleas

 

Come on, take down your fishin’ pole
And meet me at The Fishin’ Hole,
I can’t think of a better way
To pass the time o’ day