Sound Off: Is Old Dominion’s ‘Written in the Sand’ a Hit? [Listen]
Old Dominion followed a reliable law of country music in choosing "Written in the Sand" as their new radio single: When in doubt, give fans the best song you have left on the album.
"Written in the Sand" boats Song of the Year quality lyrics, with short, descriptive, imaginative verses and a contagious chorus that adds even more emotional color. It's a subtle hurt that singer Matt Ramsey is leaning into, but he's no less honest than a singer spending three, sobbing minutes wondering the same thing. The song is what happens when the sharp stabs of heartbreak are traded for a slow vice you fool yourself into believing you can live with. The black and white lyric video is fitting.
"Are we written in the stars baby, or are we written in the sand?" Ramsey asks at the chorus. How has that couplet not be written previously? Perhaps another songwriter has dreamed up this version of an ultimatum, but it surely didn't sound as sweet as it does when Old Dominion add their rich mix of harmonies and understated instrumentation. The group wanted to show more depth with Happy Endings. This is the single they needed to release to support that.
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Did You Know?: Old Dominion's Brad Tursi also helped write Luke Bryan's "Light It Up." Both songs refer to a very modern day form of anticipation: waiting for a lover to text. After a clever "text bubbles" lyric, "Written in the Sand" Moves on from the visual.
Old Dominion's "Written In the Sand" Lyrics:
Turn me on, turn me off, then you turn me back on by the weekend / And you won’t say the words that I want but you flirt when you’re drinkin’ / I see those bubbles pop up like you’re texting then they disappear / Let's cut through the shit then let’s get to what we’re doing here.
Are we just a backseat, trying to get it while we can / Are we names in a tattoo, or just a number on a hand / Are we last-call kissing or will we be reminiscing with each other for the next forty years / Are we written in the stars, baby, or are we written in the sand.
Yeah, I want you to want me to take you back home to my mama / Put my name on your lips, call me yours and forget all this drama / Your makeup is next to my toothbrush but you never put it away on the shelf / I'm asking you baby 'cause I’m tired of asking myself.
Are we just a backseat, trying to get it while we can / Are we names in a tattoo, or just a number I should wash right off my hand / Are we last-call kissing or will we be reminiscing with each other for the next forty years / Are we written in the stars baby, or are we written in the sand / Are we written in the stars baby, or are we written in the sand.