The Riley Green ‘I Wish Grandpas Never Died’ Lyric That’s Eliciting the Best Stories
Riley Green says his song "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" is still personal, even after dozens (if not hundreds) of performances and as many stories from fans. The singer will perform the song during the 2020 ACM Awards on Wednesday night (Sept. 16).
Green's ballad reflects on good things come and gone, like fishing trips, young love and good manners. Prior to filming his Taste of Country RISERS performance in 2019, the singer admitted that he didn't intend to record "I Wish Grandpas Never Died," but when a live performance went viral, he knew he had something that could help others heal, as well. Originally he wrote the song as a way to get over his own grandfather's death.
Watch Riley Green Perform "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" Live:
Sometimes songs do get old, but, "There's something about 'I Wish Grandpas Never Died' that's not done that," he tells Taste of Country. "And I think it's because of the fan reaction. I could go on a stage and sit there and play the first three notes and they'll just sing it. That's pretty special. That moment never gets old playing that song." Green talked to ToC during the virtual ACM Radio Row interviews earlier this week.
While he recalls one story of a grandfather sharing how he related to the song as being special, that's not the most frequent message he gets from fans. Actually, for many it's not a song about grandfathers at all.
"A lot of stories about a dog," Green shares. "The dog line gets a lot of folks."
"And I wish good dogs never got grey and old / I wish farms never got sold," he sings just before the final chorus. Green wrote the song himself, but gave his two grandfathers songwriting credits.
"That's what I like so much about country music and songwriting, is me writing so personal to my life without any real visions of it being a mainstream song and people turn it into something that relates to them and their own life," the 31-year-old Alabama native says. "I think that's a pretty cool thing."
Green isn't just performing at the 2020 ACM Awards — he's already been announced as a winner in the New Male Artist of the Year category. The 2020 ACMs are on CBS at 8PM ET on Sept. 16 and will air from Nashville.
Remember: The best way to watch the ACM Awards is on TV, with ToC on your phone.
Here Are the Lyrics to Riley Green's "I Wish Grandpas Never Died":
I wish girls you loved never gave back diamond rings / I wish every porch had a swing / Wish kids still learned to say sir and ma’am and how to shake a hand / I wish every state had a Birmingham.
I wish everybody knew all the words to Mama Tried / I wish Monday mornings felt just like Friday nights.
And I wish even cars had truck beds / And every road was named Copperhead / And coolers never run out of cold Bud Light / And I wish high school home teams never lost / And back road drinkin' kids never got caught / And I wish the price of gas was low and cotton was high / I wish honky-tonks didn't have no closing time / And I wish grandpas never died.
I wish Sunday's on a creek bank would never end / Wish I could learn to drive again / Wish the first time, seventeen, she was my everything / Kiss in a Chevrolet could happen every day.
I wish everybody overseas was gonna make it home / I wish country music still got played on country radio.
And I wish good dogs never got grey and old / I wish farms never got sold.
If Grandpas Never Died
Here Are the Top 10 Riley Green Songs: