What Does Old Dominion’s Never Be Sorry Mean?

California Country may not be an official music genre, but if it were, Old Dominion’s self-titled album would definitely belong in that category. Too twangy to just be pop, too boppy to just be country, with fast clever lyrics and a “no worries” attitude, Old Dominion’s tunes have a little something for everyone. In other words, they’re radio gold.

“Never Be Sorry” is a classic example of the band’s love for the mismatched-but-it-works vibe, offering a toe-tapping beat and an upbeat hummable tune … about a breakup? Yup, that happy-sounding song has some sadness at its core. Per Taste of Country, singer Matt Ramsey co-wrote the song with fellow bandmates Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi, alongside veteran country hitmakers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, and the tart combination of sad and sweet was exactly as intended.

With lines like “Sorry the sky fell down,” “All we do is apologize” and “Sometimes two people end up victims of love/ It don’t work out like you planned it,” it’s clear that the relationship being reminisced about has ended, but the “never be sorry” of the title is about never being sorry for the life and adventures had.

Never Be Sorry is a happy-sounding tune about something sad

Guitarist and contributing songwriter Brad Tursi told Billboard, “More and more lately, if there’s a sad lyric, I feel like I want to make every song happy. A happy sound with a sad lyric is, to me, a cool juxtaposition.”

The continuous shot-style music video (via YouTube) shows Ramsey and the band strolling in and out of a cartoon starbursting landscape as they reminisce about the good times of the relationship, which occasionally include plans gone awry. For example, “Getting locked out of your car in the pouring rain” doesn’t sound like much fun unless you’ve got someone to make the best of it with, and “missing the party” isn’t usually the goal, but the added “because the way you looked in that dress blew me away” implies that the pair had a much better night in than out. In any case, it’s clear that this “make the best of it ethos” extends to the singer’s view of the whole relationship, summing up the meaning of the tune in the lines “Just ’cause we couldn’t get the stars to line up/ Don’t mean we leave empty-handed.” There’s always the memories.

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