The gang got kind of depressing in their final season. Once the Riverdale crew got the news the show was cancelled they knew they would be out of work and hopelessly typecast as players permanently stuck in period dramas set in the 1950s. In the final months the tunes the band decided to play during the show became much more depressing and angst-ridden. Taking their cue from the Scooby Gang when their television show was canceled Gregorian funeral chants became the featured music covering the zany chase scene montages. Said band-leader Archibald, “Reggie stole all our our money and spent it on the blond girl. I don’t give a damn anymore.”
Embedded above is their farewell song from the final episode of The Archie All-Fun Smile-Palooza Hour, originally broadcast Christmas Day, 1968. It was said at the time that the sobs of children could be clearly heard as far away as the city limits.
Actually, the song is from 1966 by The Patriots and I listen to it a lot. You can read more about them here. In similar fashion to the 1962 recording Turn, Turn, Turn the song lyrics come from a much older work of fiction. In this case the inspiration was from the 1932 poem As Fall the Leaves by Edgar Albert Guest.
As fall the leaves, so drop the days
In silence from the tree of life;
Born for a little while to blaze
In action in the heat of strife,
And then to shrivel with Time’s blast
And fade forever in the past.
In beauty once the leaf was seen;
To all it offered gentle shade;
Men knew the splendor of its green
That cheered them so, would quickly fade:
And quickly, too, must pass away
All that is splendid of to-day.
To try to keep the leaves were vain:
Men understand that they must fall;
Why should they bitterly complain
When sorrows come to one and all?
Why should they mourn the passing day
That must depart along the way?