Single Review: Old Dominion, “I Was on a Boat That Day”

“I Was On a Boat That Day”

Old Dominion

Written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung, and Brad Tursi

The arrangement does all of the heavy lifting here.

“I Was on a Boat That Day” treads familiar lyrical ground for bro and bro-adjacent country:  my girl left me, but I was having too much fun partying to notice or care.

This incarnation of the well-worn theme has a buoyancy that makes the song feel like anything but a heartbreak number. It’s sung with enthusiasm, with the rapid fire bridge/chorus transition working particularly well.  It’s so catchy that audiences are likely to sing along with it.  Interesting instrumentation choices give it a distinctive flair that stands out from the typical “put some light steel drums on it and it’s an island song” approach that has become so rote in Nashville production.

So while “I Was On a Boat That Day” isn’t novel from a thematic perspective, it’s a fresh sounding record that makes for an enjoyable listen.

Grade: B 


  1. …would be interesting to know, which one of the songwriters had the idea – or (remote) experience – that led to this one. in africa, they say: “it takes a village to raise a child.” in nashville they seem to have agreed on: “it takes half of music city usa to write a little summer hit song”. then again, if it works out successfully like with this breezy sequel to paisley’s “fishin’ song” – why not. one that grows on you.

  2. To be fair, it’s two songwriters and the entirety of Old Dominion. Looks like almost all their songs credit at least three of the band mates in addition to whoever else was involved.

    This is probably the second-best Old Dominion song I have heard, which granted isn’t saying much. Not as good as either the Paisley or Cagle songs that influenced the lyrics, but not bad I guess.

  3. Wouldn’t be surprised if they just agree everyone in the band’s names go on the songwriting credits, it keeps things fair I guess.

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