America was a band that was formed in the 1970's. The lyrics of their song Sandman are as follows:

Ain't it foggy outside
All the planes have been grounded
Ain't the fire inside?
Let's all go stand around it
Funny, I've been there
And you've been here
And we ain't had no time to drink that beer

'Cause I understand you've been running from the man
That goes by the name of the Sandman
He flies the sky like an eagle in the eye
Of a hurricane that's abandoned

Ain't the years gone by fast
I suppose you have missed them
Oh, I almost forgot to ask
Did you hear of my enlistment?
Funny, I've been there
And you've been here
And we ain't had no time to drink that beer

Only the chorus of the song talks about the 'Sandman'. The other verses does not mention it at all and seems to be about a conversation between two people. Who is the 'Sandman'? Is the 'Sandman' a real person or a representation of something else? How is it relevant to the events presented in the other verses?

I have read articles explaining the song, like this one, claiming to have been from the song writer himself but it has no references so I cannot verify whether they are true or not.

3 Answers 3


I'm surprised that no-one has answered this already so maybe I'm missing the point.

If you search for "Sandman" on the English Wikipedia, there is a whole page about him, he is a mythical character of European origin.

Having said that, this character has no place in the collective consciousness where I live - the UK - except for the references that have crept-in from the US, like the song from the 50's "Mr. Sandman".

The Wikipedia page mentions a number of songs that reference the Sandman, like Metallica's "Enter Sandman", but doesn't reference the America song at all.


The, "Sandman" in the song by America is in reference to the M.P.'s (military police). The song is about a serviceman who went A.W.O.L. (absent without leave) and thus, is being pursued by, "The Sandman". The lyrics, "....he flies the sky like an EAGLE in the eye of a hurricane that's ABANDONED". And the final verse that asks, "...oh, I almost forgot to ask - did you hear of my ENLISTMENT?" These back up that so-called theory. It has roots in the military, as do the members of America, whose primary original members met as teens growing up on a military base. I have a sibling who was in the Marines back in the 70's who told me that about, "Sandman". I cannot swear to it but it has always been my belief about the song. It all fits and makes sense.

  • why is there a picture of Buddy Holly as part of your answer ?
    – Angst
    Feb 1, 2021 at 18:02
  • the link you mention (giving explanation as being sandman=sleep) could be along the lines of fearing sleep because of PTSD nightmares, related to military service
    – Angst
    Feb 1, 2021 at 18:04
  • There's an interesting comment in the YouTube video for the song that also suggests "running from the Sandbox" is about avoiding sleep. The context given is soldiers in Vietnam who feared that they were helpless while sleeping and could be killed. The idea being that if you stayed up, by whatever means including amphetamines, that you had a better chance of surviving. If so, then it's one of many anti-war songs form the era.
    – cnamejj
    Feb 2, 2021 at 8:46
  • Re: Angst asks why there's a pic of Buddy Holly "as part of my answer?" Well, the image of Buddy Holly was not intended to be associated with my answer or with the question. It is a favorite picture of mine.
    – Swog85
    Feb 21, 2021 at 21:20

I believe it’s about a P3 Navy aircraft and the Squadron VQ2 from Rota Spain.If you research the squadron and the plane you will piece together the puzzle

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.