I Was On A Boat That Day

Album: Time, Tequila & Tacos (2021)
Charted: 37
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Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Matt Ramsey said during an interview on 101.3 KFDI that Old Dominion originally had the idea for this summer anthem around the time they were writing "Break Up With Him" in 2014. They filed it away, but during a writing session with Shane McAnally and Josh Osbourne in Asheville, North Carolina, it came up again. McAnally and Osbourne helped the band see "it wasn't a joke title but a really fun title."
  • Lyrically, this is a breakup song where Matthew Ramsey sings of his girl having just walked out on him. He is so enjoying riding the breeze on the river, letting the sun and rum do what it does, the singer can shrug off any drama. He's "not really heartbroken in this particular moment," explained band member Brad Tursi, "'cause he's on a boat and he's having fun and I'll deal with the rest tomorrow."
  • The song begins and ends with jubilant ad-libs, making it sound like Old Dominion had a fun time laying it down in the studio. Ramsey said since they knew "Boat" needed to sound like a "party, and a little intoxicated," they downed some tequila and "did our best little party dance song."
  • Old Dominion had the "I Was On A Boat That Day" title filed away since the mid-2010s. For several years they couldn't come up with a suitable lyric until they met up with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne for a songwriting session at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina. Hearing the title through fresh ears, the seven writers easily sailed through the song.

    The river was rolling
    I was getting my float on
    She was telling me so long
    I was already so long gone


    Guitarist Trevor Rosen recalled that Matt Ramsay went to the bathroom, and by the time he came out, everyone was saying he was "getting his float on."

    Rosen said Ramsay was just trying to fit that line, and he came up with the lyric just for the cadence. "We were cracking up," he said, but McAnally told them, "I know you're kidding. But that's definitely the line.' You know what it means - it's like 'I was just hammered,' and it's just a quirky way to say it."

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