December 12.2013 – The Story Behind The Song “If Heaven” by Andy Griggs

Watch the official video here! Andy Griggs If Heaven

This was written by Gretchen Peters, who was brought up in an area next to the thriving metropolis of Manhattan. It was her childhood sanctuary, safe, simple, and, she says, a good place to grow up. So when she was writing songs for her album Halcyon, she dipped into the well of childhood memories and came up with this song, which is a vivid description of how her home town feels to her. “I really just had some images about the town I grew up in. It was a little town, even though we were right by Manhattan. It was a good place to grow up. I felt good there, I felt safe and protected, and I knew my neighborhood. It felt small in the midst of a very big place. And I just was sort of playing with the images that came up for me about that, about childhood and that town. And I’d had the verses pretty much written for a long, long time, but struggled a lot with the chorus. I felt like these verses were very much just a Folk song, just a simple Folk song. And I thought even for a while, well, if it’s a Folk song maybe it doesn’t need a chorus. Maybe it’s just this. And I just struggled with the chorus for a long time. And finally it came to me that it was just as simple as saying if that’s what Heaven’s made of, I’m not afraid to die. There wasn’t anything more to it.”

This song has become a popular one to play at funerals, probably due to the picture-postcard image it paints of Heaven. However, Peters wrote this song with the intent of conveying what her childhood meant to her, and says, “It wasn’t anything in particular. It was just a sort of a memory, or a lot of memories, of what that idyllic time was like for me, and I felt, well, that’s Heaven. What it ought to be.”

Recorded by Andy Griggs, It was released in October 2004 as the second single from his album This I Gotta See.

Griggs said that he was emotionally moved by the song, which made him recall his father and brother, both of whom died during Griggs’ childhood. His mother has asked him to perform the song for him, and refers to it as “the song.”[

Griggs’ eleventh single on the Billboard country singles charts, “If Heaven” is currently the final Top 40 country hit of his career, peaking at #5 in mid-2005.

LYRICS: Written by Gretchen Peters
If heaven was an hour, it would be twilight
When the fireflies start their dancin’ on the lawn
And suppers on the stove and mammas laughin’
And everybodys workin’ day is done

If heaven was a town it would be my town
On a summer day in 1985
And everything I wanted was out there waiting
And everyone I loved was still alive

Chorus:
Don’t cry a tear for me now baby
There comes a time we must all say goodbye
And if that’s what heavens made of
You know I ain’t afraid to die

If heaven was a pie it would be cherry
Cool and sweet and heavy on your tongue
And just one bite would satisfy your hunger
And here’d always be enough for everyone

If heaven was a train it sure would be a fast one
That could take this weary traveler round the bend
And if heaven was a tear it’d be my last one
And you’d be in my arms again

Chorus:
Don’t cry a tear for me now baby
There comes a time we must all say goodbye
And if that’s what heaven’s made of
You know I ain’t afraid to die

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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