Naturally, I had no idea as a kid, but as soon as one of those Fisher-Price Teaching Clocks crossed my grown-up path this weekend, I started wondering what that song was. I mean, if it's going to be my ringtone, I oughta know, right?
Wow, is it creepy. It's called "My Grandfather's Clock," and it was written by Connecticut-born composer Henry Clay Work. According to Wikipedia [I know, but I've had a really full plate lately], the song is the source of the term, "grandfather clock," and it was based on reportedly true stories of a hotel clock in England that kept perfect time throughout the lifetimes of the brothers who owned the hotel. But when one brother died, the clock started slowing down, and when the other brother died, it stopped working completely.
The song was also the inspiration for a 1963 Twilight Zone episode. Fisher-Price put it in the clock in either 1964 or 1968. For your retro infotainment, here is "My Grandfather's Clock," sung by Johnny Cash.