Songwriting credits for this song rest with the great Roy Acuff who had a hit with it in the 1930’s. Acuff admitted that he actually learned it from a young man whose name he did not know. Contrary to what first might be believed, the song is not about Social Security. Rather it is about the “Old Age Pension” movement spearheaded by Dr. Charles Townsend of California. His proposal would have provided income for retirees that would have had to be spent or returned. Even though there were over 5,000 “Townsend Clubs” throughout the country that collected 10 cents from each member for lobbying, his proposal was fiscally unsound. Not long afterwards Social Security legislation was passed.


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