“Country Music: A Ken Burns Film,” an 8-part/16-hour series, debuts Sunday night on PBS.
Songs about family are fodder for all music formats, from Paul Peterson’s “My Dad” to Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” to The Judds’ “Grandpa Tell Me Bout The Good Old Days.”
The family song du jour is “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” by Country singer/songwriter Riley Green. Inspired and influenced by his relationships with his own two, deceased, grandfathers, the song hits a slew of emotional hot buttons:
…I wish good dogs never got grey and old
I wish farms never got sold
I wish girls you love never gave back diamond rings
I wish every porch had a swing
Wish kids still learn to say “sir” and “ma’am”, how to shake a hand
“Grandpas” is a far cry from Riley’s previous #1 debut hit, “There Was This Girl,” however, it’s resonating with audiences–it’s got momentum, and just entered the Country chart at #38.
The song’s delivery is stereotypical Country: references to Merle Haggard, Bud Light, and the price of cotton. The vocals are Southern and nasal, with a twang.
This is a song for Country fans.