“I Wish Grandpas Never Died” by Riley Green

As the title (“I Wish Grandpas Never Died”) suggests, in this song Riley Green does memorialize his dead grandfathers. And we know these sentiments are real as he even gave a shoutout to one of them, Buford, in another song featured on “Different ‘Round Here” entitled “Numbers on the Cars”.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Riley Green's I Wish Grandpas Never Died at Lyrics.org.

But the song in its entirety does not read like a eulogy or mourning tune and in fact is a bit challenging to explain. Rather we can say that the main reason Riley cites his forefathers is to allude to the grander idea. Or rather let’s say that within the context of this track, his grandfathers represent traditional Southern culture. So on a macrocosmic level, his ‘wishing’ that they were still around actually symbolizes how much he relishes the culture he was brought up in which has also passed away, if you will.

One line that stands out in that regard is when Riley exclaims “I wish country music still got played on country radio”. Now in the age in which this song was dropped, Riley would be perceived more as a traditional country artist. That is to say that the country-music genre has evolved significantly in recent times. So the aforementioned sentence actually encapsulates how he idealize the past, specifically in regards to his culture, over how things have evolved throughout time. And for the most part that would actually be the main theme of this song. And based on the lyrics we can say that said culture was indeed country.


So conclusively, the listener will walk away from this song knowing that Riley Green does miss his granddads. But he is using the occasion of remembering them to also memorialize, if you will, a way of life that he loves which seems to be fading away.

Facts about “I Wish Grandpas Never Died”

This song was officially released by Big Machine Records on 2 August 2019. It is the third single from Riley’s maiden album, “Different ‘Round Here”.

Originally “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” wasn’t going to be featured on the album. However, one day while Riley was performing it live, one fan recorded the live performance, uploaded it, and the song went viral. So afterwards he was compelled to include it.

Riley Green wrote this song. The other credited co-writers, Buford Green and Lendon Bonds, are actually his late grandfathers.

“I Wish Grandpas Never Died” was produced by Jimmy Harnen and the omnipresent Dann Huff.

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    The part Of I wish cotton was high is disgusting and connotates slavery days

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