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This Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz penned song was released in 1985 by Randy Travis as the leadoff single to his Storms of Life album, stalling at #67 on the Country chart.
“On the Other Hand” had an interesting journey to No. 1: It was originally released as the debut single from Storms of Life but stalled on the charts without coming close to the Top 40. But after releasing “1982,” which peaked at No. 6, “On the Other Hand” was re-released, and it quickly soared to the very top becoming the Randy’s first Country #1 of his career!
The song depicts a man with a wedding band on one hand, who is tempted by another woman. Overstreet and Schlitz were actually trying to write a different song when they got the idea for this one. “We were trying to write a theme for another song. It was the idea that when you have one woman, you shouldn’t be looking for another one,” Overstreet recalled to Country Weekly. “I personally was tired of that whole scenario of going from one relationship to another, and not having the strength to really say no in tempting situations. I was hoping we could write a song that would say we had the strength to say no.”
“So right in the middle of that song, we kind of bantered some lines back and forth and Don said ‘but on the other hand,’ and I said, ‘there’s a golden band,'” he continued. “From that point, we looked at each other and kind of got that glitter in our eyes, and finished it real quick. Then we went to lunch.”
The song was originally recorded by Keith Whitley on his 1985 album L.A. to Miami.
Randy reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts July 26.1986
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On one hand I count the reasons I could stay with you
And hold you close to me, all night long.
So many lover’s games I could play with you
And on that hand I see no reason why it’s wrong
But on the other hand, There’s a golden band
To remind of someone who would not understand
On one hand I could stay and be your loving man
But the reason I must go is on the other hand
In your arms I feel the passion, I thought had died
When I looked into your eyes I found myself
When I first kissed your lips I felt so alive
I’ve got to hand it to you girl, you’re something else