Story Behind the Song: Old Dominion, ‘Written in the Sand’
"Written in the Sand," Old Dominion's second single off of their sophomore album, Happy Endings, may address more serious subject matter than the fun-loving singles that introduced them to their fanbase, but the group's Matthew Ramsey says the five-piece band always makes it a point to keep their tunes conversational and true to life. Read on to learn all about the songwriting process behind the single.
Usually [when I start writing songs], I have a whole big list of ideas and titles. To be honest with you, I don't know half of why I get these ideas; they just pop into my head. I had written down "the stars and the sand." That was sort of the original title.
So I brought it in one day, and it was Trevor [Rosen], Brad [Tursi], Shane McAnally and myself. I said, "I have this title called "The Stars and the Sand."" They were like, "What does that mean?" I said, "Well, are we written in the stars or written in the sand?" I explained to them. They got excited, and then Shane came up with the part that says, "Are we just a backseat?" and that excited everyone, so from then on out, it didn't take very long.
We spit it out pretty fast. We actually had one line, "I see those bubbles pop up like you're texting," from another song that Trevor and Brad and I had started to write but never finished. We loved that line, and it seemed to fit perfectly into the song, so we put it in. [The text bubbles are an example of] a real thing people deal with, where you're looking at your phone and you see that they're texting and then it just goes away. It's a terrible feeling! That's just real life, and we try to keep it conversational and keep it as real as we can.