As we navigate the strange, hectic world that 2020 has introduced us to, it’s not uncommon to yearn for yesteryear when things were both “good” and “normal.” For Dave Fenley, his way of looking back comes in the form of a song; a classic by The Judds called “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).”
As relevant now as it was when it was originally released in 1985, Fenley brings a new, intimate feel to the song with simply an acoustic guitar and a powerhouse vocal. Coupled with a lyric that Fenley says promotes viewing the current world circumstances with a wider lens, the song is a light in a year dominated by darkness.
“This song was always powerful. Everybody’s grandparents are a tree of knowledge, and it seems like no matter what generation is looking back, things were better before. That’s what makes the song so timeless,” says Fenley. “In this crazy COVID world we are in right now, where there is so much divisiveness and hate speech, I thought it would be a good time to try to bring God, love and grace back into the conversation. I’m a proud Christian and a work in progress. I like to think this song can help people look at a bigger picture and not be so selfish. We are in this together.”
Though he’s a longtime fan of the tune, Fenley says that 2020 has offered him a new perspective on the song’s message.
“A lot of people hear the title and think it’s just talking about a grandfather, but it’s so much more than that. Were there problems in the generations before us? Certainly. But there were some pretty great aspects to life back then that I wish we could bring back,” says Fenley. “We have a whole generation of young people that only have to turn on TV or radio if they wanna learn every swear word imaginable. Ain’t that sad? Don’t get me going [laughs].”
In the song’s equally moving music video, Fenley’s parents and wife make an appearance, something that makes the song even more special, and a collective memento for his family.
“It was amazing to have my mom and dad and wife in the video,” says Fenley. “It’s sad to think about, but we don’t get to live forever, but my family will be immortalized in this video in a beautiful moment on a beautiful day in the hopes to bring a little beauty into other people’s world. It means everything to share that with them.”