Matthew Ramsey has amassed his fair share of hits as the frontman of Old Dominion—”One Man Band,” “No Hard Feelings” and “Hotel Key” to name a few. But his first few years in Nashville saw him penning hits for other artists with the same vulnerability, ear-worm hooks, and sly lyrics you find in his own offerings.
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Among the artists that have cut Ramsey’s tunes are The Band Perry, Craig Morgan, Kenny Chesney, and Dierks Bentley. Check out which songs Ramsey wrote for these artists, below.
1. “Chainsaw” (The Band Perry)
Written by Matthew Ramsey, Shane McAnnally, and Josh Osborne
Perry originally wrote “Chainsaw” for Old Dominion. Ultimately it went to The Band Perry in 2014 for their sophomore album, Pioneer. The lyrics center around a woman scorned who destroys a tree in which she and her former lover carved their initials. The track earned them the No. 10 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart.
We scratched our names
In that oak tree
‘Cause I loved you
And you loved me
A jagged little heart so the whole town knew it
Carved in the bark with an arrow through it
Well I came out here to see it one more time
And I got my chainsaw
Oh you know it’s got to go, it’s such a shame y’all
But I ain’t gonna be happy ’til those names fall
And I’m sittin’ on a stump
2. “Wake Up Lovin’ You” (Craig Morgan)
Written by Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, and Josh Osborne
Before Old Dominion released their own version of “Wake Up Lovin’ You,” Craig Morgan got hold of the track in 2013. Morgan said at the time, “I really believe that this will be the song of my career because it’s a turning point.” It broke the Top 20 on the Billboard Country Airplay Charts. Ramsey and the rest of Old Dominion went on to record their own version of the track.
My friends call me up ’cause they know I’m down
Take me out to paint the town and help me get over it.
A pretty blonde girl at the end of the bar
Buys a drink, gives a wink and then it goes too far.
We’re out on the dance floor feelin’ the gin
I finally start comin’ alive again
I take her home for the night and everything is right
Until the first ray of sunlight
And damn if I don’t wake up lovin’ you
Oh I wake up lovin’ you
3. “Say You Do” (Dierks Bentley)
Written by Matthew Ramsey, Shane McAnally, and Trevor Rosen
Dierks Bentley recorded this Ramsey-penned track in 2014 for his album Riser. Bentley said he loved the track “right from the beginning. It’s about wanting something so badly even if it’s not good for you, just wanting that love back, which is something I think everyone can relate to at some point in their life,” he once said. The track peaked at No. 1 on the Country Airplay Charts.
Well couldn’t you
Say you do
Say you might
Have a heart
Bend the truth, even if you don’t
Couldn’t you mess me up, get in my head
Steal my T-shirt
Wreck my bed all night long like you used to
Even if you don’t, couldn’t you say you do
4. “Save It For a Rainy Day” (Kenny Chesney)
Written by Matthew Ramsey, Brad Tursi, and Andrew Dorff
Yet another Country Airplay No. 1 penned by Ramsey, “Save It For a Rainy Day” appeared on Kenny Chesney’s 2015 album, The Big Revival. The lyrics see Chesney push away his negative emotions, saving them for a not-so-sunny day. It’s blithe country perfection.
It’s no secret that lately there ain’t no escape
And that I’ve been waking up alone
Just me and the TV and a sinking feeling
That you ain’t ever coming home
But today, the tears ain’t gonna hit the floor
Cause the boat’s in the bay and it’s calling my name
So I’m heading on out the door
‘Cause the sun’s too bright, the sky’s too blue
Beer’s too cold to be thinking bout you
Gonna take this heartbreak and tuck it away
Save it for a rainy day
Photo by Terry Wyatt/WireImage