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Old Doc Brown

This song is by Hank Snow and appears on the album Old Doc Brown and Other Narrations (1955).

He was just an old country doctor in a little Kentucky town
Fame and fortune had passed him by but we never saw him frown
As day by day in his kindly way he'd serve us one and all
Many a patient forgot to pay although Doc's fees were small

But old Doc Brown didn't seem to mind he didn't even send out bills
His only ambition was to find it seemed sure cures for aches and ills
Why nearly half the folks in my home town, yes I'm one of them too
Were ushered in by Old Doc Brown when we made our first debut

Though he needed his dimes and there were times that he'd receive a fee
He'd pass it onto some poor soul that needed it worse than he
So when the depression hit our town and drained each meager purse
The scanty income of Old Doc Brown just went from bad to worse

He had to sell his furniture, why he couldn't even pay his office rent
So to a dusty room over a livery stable Doc Brown and his satchel went
On the hitchin' post at the curb below to advertise his wares
He nailed a little sign that read Doc Brown has moved upstairs

There he kept on helping folks get well and his heart was just pure gold
But anyone with eyes could see that Doc was getting old
And then one day he didn't even answer when they knocked upon his door
Old Doc Brown was layin' down but his soul was no more

They found him there in that old black suit on his face was a smile of content
But all the money they could find on him was a quarter and a copper cent
So they opened up his ledger and what they saw gave their hearts a pull
Beside each debtor's name old Doc had writ' these words: "Paid In Full"

It looked like the potter's field for Doc and that caused us some alarm
'Til someone remembered the family graveyard out on the Simmons' farm
Old Doc had brought six of their children and Simmons was a grateful cuss
He said Doc's been like one of the family so you can let him sleep with us

Old Doc should had a funeral fine enough for king
It's a ghastly joke our town was broke and no one could give a thing
'Cept Jones the undertaker he did mighty well
Donated an old iron casket he had never been able to sell

And the funeral procession it wasn't much for grace and pomp and style
But those wagon loads of mourners they stretched out for more than a mile
And we breathed a prayer as we laid him there to rest beneath the sod
This man who'd earned the right to be on speaking terms with God

His grave was covered with flowers but not from the floral shops
Just roses and things from folks' gardens and one or two dandilion tops
For the depression had hit our little town hard and each man carried a load
So some just picked the wild flowers as they passed along the road

We wanted to give him a monument we kinda figured we owed him one
'Cause he'd made our town a better place for all the good he'd done
But monuments cost money so we did the best we could
And on his grave we gently placed a monument of wood

We pulled up that old hitchin' post where Doc had nailed his sign
And we painted it white and to all of us it certainly did look fine
Now the rains and snows have washed away our white trimmings of paint
There ain't nothin' left but Doc's own sign and that is gettin' faint

Still when southern breezes and twinkling stars caress our sleeping town
And the pale moon shines through Kentucky pines on the grave of Old Doc Brown
You can still see that old hitchin' post as if in answer to our prayers
Mutely tellin' the whole wide world Doc Brown has moved upstairs


Written by:

Red Foley

Hank Snow - vocal/guitar</br> Ray Edenton, Jack Shook - guitar</br> Melvin Gentry - steel</br> Ernie Newton - bass</br> Tommy Vaden, Chubby Wise - fiddle</br> Marvin Hughes - piano/organ</br>

Recorded:</br> Sept 1/1955, RCA Victor Studio, Nashville

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