The Life Of Riley

Album: Cloudcuckooland (1992)
Charted: 28 98

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by chief Lightning Seed Ian Broudie about the birth of his son, Riley.
  • For many years this was the music that accompanied BBC Match of the Day's Goal of the Month.
  • The phrase "the life of Riley" meaning "to have a high old time, wallow in luxury, live it up, without much effort, have an easy life" is thought to come from a lyric in a 1919 song by Harry Pease with the title "My Name is Kelly." The song went "Faith and my name is Kelly, Michael Kelly/ But I'm living the life of Reilly just the same." In the 1940s there was a popular American radio situation comedy series titled in The Life of Riley, starring William Bendix. It was continued as a television series from 1949, originally with Jackie Gleason playing Bendix's role.
  • The song's title was used for the Lightning Seed's 2003 greatest hits collection, Life of Riley: The Lightning Seeds Collection.

Comments: 1

  • Bender from East West Virginia, VaMy daughter of 10 years old knows every word to this song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."