Made of Sand

Album: Burn the Boats (2011)


  • In our interview with Seattle songwriter, Shelby Earl, it was revealed "Made of Sand" is about being inappropriately revered by another: "The words were written after I dated someone who seemed to put me on a pedestal and who lost a lot of himself in the process. It was an odd experience because he was also a deeply religious person and I couldn't make sense of him glorifying me when that devotion should have been aimed at his god. That's why I use so many religiously charged words and phrases in the song. I wanted to paint a picture of one person deifying another while the one being deified knows they are too flawed to stand up under such immense pressure and expectation. You cannot make another person your emotional rock. If you try they will fail you, they will become sand, and you will be left without a foundation in the end."
  • Shelby Earl told us the song attained another layer of meaning after her friend and collaborator, Katie Freeze, commented that the lyrics reminded her of an obsessive ex: "...there is an extra level of spooky in the recording because my best friend, longtime collaborator and old band-mate, Katie Freeze, who wrote the music to this song, had just emerged from awful experience with a stalker. She was totally freaked out when she read the lyrics because they were so reminiscent of the creepy dude's obsessive behavior toward her. She brought that energy to the music and instrumentation and once you know that part of the story it's REALLY chilling to listen to!"
  • "Made of Sand" features on Shelby Earl's debut LP, Burn the Boats. Earl started to write the record in 2009, after she walked out of her corporate job in the music industry in favor of a waitress gig at a local restaurant.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.