Written in the Sand

Album: Happy Endings (2017)
Charted: 51

Songfacts®:

  • This mellow, reflective ballad finds Old Dominion lead singer Matthew Ramsey wondering where a relationship is heading. He asks:

    Are we written in the stars, baby, or are we written in the sand?

    A relationship written in the stars is one that will succeed as it was always going to happen. However, a relationship that is written in the sand will easily crumble as it only needs a change of wind or the tide to erase it.
  • Old Dominion members Trevor Rosen, and Brad Tursi helped Ramsey pen the song along with the track's producer Shane McAnally.
  • The song was released as the second single from Old Dominion's sophomore major-label album Happy Endings. Ramsey said the band simply went with their instincts when it came to picking the follow-up to the Hot 100 hit "No Such Thing as a Broken Heart."

    "It's one of my favorite songs on the album," he told ABC Radio, "and actually was one of the last ones that we wrote before we recorded it and it's just kind of a gut feeling. We felt like we had a moment to do something different than we've ever done before and it felt like the right one."
  • "Written in the Sand" was built around a narrative of a couple determining their relationship status. Ramsey explained to Billboard: "I brought that to the guys with the idea being a song about how most people have to define their relationship at some point, and we built the song around that premise."
  • Matthew Ramsey's working title, which he brought to the other songwriters, was "The Stars And The Sand." When the other three asked what it meant, Rosen replied: "Well, are we written in the stars or written in the sand?"
  • The line, "I see those bubbles pop up like you're texting," came from another song that Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi and Matthew Ramsey had started to write but never finished. They loved that lyric, and it fitted perfectly into the song, so they put it in.

    Ramsey explained to The Boot that 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."

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