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'Andy Griffith' tune: Most recognizable theme song of all time?

July 03, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Andy Griffith's death Tuesday at the age of 86 left many whistling, whether deliberately or absent-mindedly, the cheerful ditty from"The Andy Griffith Show" in honor of an actor who personified a simpler time in America.

It's doubtless one of the more recognizable theme songs in all of TV history. But did you know that the infectious tune comes with equally irresistible lyrics?

Don't blame us if you end up singing it all day long, but here's how the song starts:

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.

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Although the theme song to the show is whistled, the fishing imagery -- or should we say fishin' imagery -- comes courtesy of the opening sequence. It features Sheriff Andy Taylor, played of course by Andy Griffith, and son Opie, who was played by Ron Howard: Father and son, fishing poles in hand, are seen heading down to their favorite fishin' hole.

"The Fishin' Hole" theme song was written by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer, with lyrics by Everett Sloane, according to Song Facts.

Many people assume -- wrongly -- that Griffith did the whistling in the TV theme song. (That honor went to Hagen.)

But here's something even better than Griffith whistling the tune: Griffith singing the song in this YouTube video, accompanied by images from the beloved TV show.

We suggest you grab yourself a tall glass of lemonade, put your feet up and enjoy.

Thanks for the memories, Andy Griffith.

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ or Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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