“SUCCESS IS THE BEST REVENGE FOR ANYTHING.”
Ed Sheeran was born on February 17, 1991, in a small town called Halifax, England, but his family soon moved to Framlingham, Suffolk, where he essentially grew up. Playing the guitar at a young age and writing his own songs, Ed Sheeran knew music was for him. Even though he only has one eardrum, Ed has always loved the harmonies and the feeling that music has.
He says that it was not easy being a redhead, because he was immediately deemed as ugly. He had many quirks, but these differences, in the end, helped him become the person he is today. He used to have a stutter, and after he started focusing on his music, and really getting those Eminem lyrics down, Ed’s stutter vanished. At 14 years of age, he headed to London for the summer, with his guitar and a backpack full of clothes, and his musical career took flight.
Now he as a wife, Cherry Seaborn, and they have been married for two years now, but has never really like being public about it.
- Album reaching number 1 on record charts without being signed to a label
- One of his songs was in the Hobbit
- Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on December 7, 2017
- Grammy: Best Song of the Year (2016) → Thinking Out Loud
- Grammy: Best Pop Vocal Album (2018) → Divide
- Billboard: Top Artist
- And many more
- Shape of You (2017)
- Perfect (2017)
- Thinking Out Loud (2014)
- Castle on the Hill (2017)
- Don’t (2014)
- Photograph (2014)
GENRES (OF MUSIC)?
- Pop → originating in the United States and the UK in the 1950s, focusing on rhythm, melody, hooks and a catchy chorus (mainstream).
- Hip hop → started in the United States by Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx, New York City in the 1970s. This style has a strong rhythm, and the lyrics are chanted.
- Contemporary folk → starting in the mid-twentieth century, focusing on the acoustical tradition of the United States and the UK at the time.
- Hope and Longing
- Relationship (good and bad)
Rhyming → allows for the song to have a beat that cohesively brings the piece together.
I feel Love in this Newfoundland flat
Only God knows where I found it at
Maybe faith pulled me into the pub
Just to meet someone who’d give me their love
I just liked how you kissed me like that
Imagery → is to put vivid feelings into the listener’s mind, so they see a picture that evokes a specific emotion every time they listen.
Baby, I’m dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful
I don’t deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight
Metaphor → a comparison that adds to the image, but the difference is that there are greater implications to living life within these images that the metaphor reinforces.
What do I Know?
You know we are made up of love and hate
But both of them are balanced on a razor blade
Repetition → reinforces the main idea.
Shape of You
Girl, you know I want your love
Your love was handmade for somebody like me
Come on now, follow my lead
I may be crazy, don’t mind me
Say, boy, let’s not talk too much
Grab on my waist and put that body on me
Come on now, follow my lead
Come, come on now, follow my lead
- Personal Experiences (lots of his songs are about his wife)
- Eminem (memorizing his songs helped Ed lose his stutter)
- Damien Rice (met him backstage, and Damien told Ed to write his own music, and he did just that)
- The Beatles
- Bob Dylan
- Learn from others → you are not the best out there. Take inspiration from others until you find your own style.
- Practice → you will only get better.
- Do something different → How are you going to make yourself different from everyone else?
- Writer’s block doesn’t really exist → if you want to write you can.
- “Dare to suck” → having the courage to fail, and then get better will lead you to success.
I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene
I know, I’m all for people following their dreams
Just re-remember life is more than fitting in your jeans
It’s love and understanding positivity
We could change this whole world with a piano
Add a bass, some guitar, grab a beat, and away we go
I’m just a boy with a one-man show
No university, no degree, but Lord knows
Everybody’s talking ’bout exponential growth
And the stock market crashing and their portfolios
While I’ll be sitting here with a song that I wrote
Saying love could change the world in a moment
But what do I know?
Throughout the entire song, there is a solid rhyme scheme. Each phrase in the first stanza rhymes except for the last line, allowing it to hit harder. The second stanza does a similar thing, but the second to last line stands out.
For imagery, we are giving an overarching image of loneliness. This is done by using words like “I”, “We” and “They” to create a comparison between him and the rest of the world. It is reinforced with the image of, “Everybody’s talking ’bout exponential growth, and the stock market crashing and their portfolios.”
Metaphor is used skillfully in this piece. The idea of the piano, bass, and beat to “change the world” is saying that there are much simpler ways to make a difference. The idea of “fitting in your jeans” shows that people spend most of their life attempting to conform to the expectations set out for them. “One-man show” adds to the image of loneliness as well.
There is the repetition of the word “love” in these two stanzas, making it the main idea. However, this piece does not literally repeat most of the time. In the first line, there is alliteration in “paint the picture” and “set the scene”, and choosing to say “re-remember” instead of “remember”. He has pockets of repetition in other forms.
IMPACT ON ME
I have been listening to Ed Sheeran’s music for a long time and I appreciate the following:
- Literary depth and Imagery → he is able to make vivid pictures with his words while having metaphors and ideas that have greater implications relating to the human condition.
- Storytelling → almost all of his songs tell a story indirectly while keeping a structured form, and relatable lyrics.
- Universality → anyone can understand his lyrics. They are very simplistic, and the messages behind them appeal to a large audience.