Riley Green lists his two grandfathers as co-writers on "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" because the song is that personal. Lyrically the nostalgic country ballad laments all the good things you miss in life: old dogs, first kisses, manners and quality time with your grandfather.

Green, a 2019 Taste of Country RISERS artist, has performed the song live a few times. Fan video caught fire, so his label team decided to switch radio singles. "In Love by Now" was looking like a hit, but it was impossible to ignore the power of a song nearly everyone can relate to. Talking to Taste of Country, Green shared the impact his two grandpas had on him and his music.

"My Grandaddy Buford was the country guy," Green tells 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."

Watch Riley Green Perform "I Wish Grandpas Never Died"

Buford Green died nearly a decade ago. Lendon Bonds (who inspired the fishing verse) died in 2018, but got to see his grandson sing at the Grand Ole Opry. This song will be included on Green's upcoming Different 'Round Here album, to be released on Sept. 20.

Riley Green's "I Wish Grandpa's Never Died" Lyrics:

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.

Chorus:
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.

Repeat Chorus

And I wish good dogs never got grey and old / I wish farms never got sold.

Repeat Chorus

Watch: Riley Green's Cover of "Cold Beer With Your Name On It"

Riley Green's Different 'Round Here Track Listing:

1. “There Was This Girl” (Riley Green, Erik Dylan)
2. “Different ‘Round Here” (Green, Randy Montana, Jonathan Singleton)
3. “Same Old Song” (Green, Dylan, Singleton)
4. “In a Truck Right Now” (Green, Dylan, Montana)
5. “Hard to Leave” (Green, Jessi Alexander, Montana)
6. “I Wish Grandpa’s Never Died” (Green, Lendon Bonds, Buford Green)
7. “Bettin’ Man” (Green, Dylan, Singleton)
8. “Numbers on the Cars” (Green)
9. “My First Everything” (Green, Dylan, Tyler Reeve, Justin Weaver)
10. “In Love by Now” (Green, Rhett Akins, Marv Green, Ben Hayslip)
11. “Get That Man a Beer” (Green, Singleton, Channing Wilson)
12. “Break Up More Often” (Green, Chris DuBois, Lynn Hutton)
13. “Running With an Angel” (Green)
14. “Outlaws Like Us” (Erik Dylan)

See 50 Essential '90s Country Songs: 

See 50 Essential '90s Country Songs