I Wish Grandpas Never Died

Album: Different 'Round Here (2019)
Charted: 66

Songfacts®:

  • On this stripped-down ballad, Riley Green laments the good times in life that end too soon.

    I wish high school home teams never lost
    And backroad-drinking kids never got caught
    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
  • The loss of Green's two grandfathers was a major inspiration for this sentimental cut. He previously sang about Grandaddy Lyndon, who passed away in 2018, on "Numbers on the Cars." Grandaddy Buford, who died in 2010, was the one who first installed in Green a love for country music.

    "My Grandaddy Buford was the country guy," he told Taste of Country. "He was really into like Merle Haggard, Roy Acuff, Hank WIlliams and... that was what I learned to sing and play. I never sang when I played guitar until my grandaddy started pushing me and me and him would sit around and he'd fiddle on the harmonica a little bit. That was where I got my traditional roots."
  • The song wasn't originally intended for Green's Different Round Here album. When he wrote "Grandpas," the record was finished, but after he played it at a show, somebody filmed his performance with their iPhone, put it on YouTube, and the clip went viral.

    Green continued playing the tune at shows and got an enthusiastic reception every time, so his label decided to add it to the record.
  • The song's music video was filmed during a Phenix City show in Green's home state of Alabama.

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