An Andy Griffith Tribute, with Song Lyrics

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The news that Andy Griffith died this morning, at the age of 86, provoked an odd combination of feelings at our office: sadness at his death, wistfulness for the simple black-and-white world he represented and, in spite of all that sorrow, a strong desire to whistle. You don’t have to have been a fan of The Andy Griffith Show to whistle its theme—you don’t have to be human; parrots can do it too—and, in that whistling, to tell the world that everything will be just fine.

But it’s a little known fact that, beyond that, you don’t even have to know how to whistle to show the world you’re thinking of Andy Griffith today: the song has words. And they’re words that underscore what the show and the man have to teach us, even all these years after Mayberry. We all need to cool our toes sometimes, to sit in the shade, to go out fishing and not care whether we catch anything. So take a listen, and then, if you have the time—make the time!—take a trip to the fishing hole.

(MORE: Who Knew Andy Griffith Was So Controversial?)