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."