Music Friday: Andra Day Gives Up Gold for Grains of Sand in Her Bluesy 2015 Release

November 12, 2021

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you outstanding songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, the multitalented Andra Day performs "Gold," a bluesy ballad framed as a heartfelt apology to a former lover.

Day admits she betrayed him even though he treated her “like a precious gift.” She suffers a hard lesson when she learns that her new lover is a cheater.

Day describes her remorse with a line that repeats throughout the song: “I gave up gold / For grains of sand / Slipping through my hand.”

In an NPR interview, Day explained how “Gold” was born.

“I was with someone that I was not good to, and wasn’t faithful to,” she said. “I used to be ashamed to talk about it, and ‘Gold’ was really my moment to say, ‘I’m going to talk about it. I’m going to purge because other people experience this.'”

She continued, “So, it’s basically a letter to him apologizing for what I had done. Sort of spelling out my experience and heartbreak after that — having someone betray me and what it felt like. And then letting him know that I now understand what [he] went through… It’s a whole candid story told from beginning to end.”

“Gold” is featured on Day’s 2015 debut album, Forever Mine. That same year, Rolling Stone magazine named Andra Day one of the “10 New Artists You Need to Know.”

The publication was right on the mark, as Day would score a 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Born Cassandra Monique Batie in Edmonds, WA, in 1984, the artist's stage name was inspired by Holiday’s nickname, "Lady Day."

Day got her first break in 2012 when a series of her popular song covers went viral on YouTube. Those videos caught the attention of numerous record labels, which courted the future star. Eventually, she signed with Warner Bros. Records.

The photo, above, also reveals that Day is a big fan of gold jewelry. She wears two gold rings on each finger, bold gold cuffs on her wrists, large gold hoop earrings and two gold chain necklaces.

Please check out the video of Andra Day performing "Gold" live at the SiriusXM studios in June of 2016. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

“Gold”
Written and performed by Andra Day.

He don’t know I call him the teacher
He had a hard lesson for the kid
I get I put you through hell
He put me under the same spell
He lied man, he stressed me out
You loved me like a precious gift
And he loved me like a sloppy kiss
You would tell me your heartaches
Now I understand the pain
Oh why did I let you drown

Baby would you believe
That I’ve been broken
You say memories
Play again and again
I see the reel now it’s real to me
I gave up gold
For grains of sand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand

You had no problems with commitment
Like a king is loyal to what’s his
You looked for a ring to fit
While I played wifey with a kid
Oh the irony makes me sick

He tried to make me look crazy
Nothing new about his kind of scheme
I laugh when I think about
His face when truth nearly spilled out
He looked like me I get that now

Baby would you believe
That I’ve been broken
You say memories
Play again and again
I see the reel, now it’s real to me
I gave up gold
For grains of sand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand

Baby would you believe
That I’ve been broken
You say memories
Play again and again
I see the reel, now it’s real to me
I gave up gold
For grains of sand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand
Slipping through my hand

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com / SiriusXM.