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Ed Sheeran, ‘Sing’ – Song Meaning

Ed Sheeran
Cindy Ord, Getty Images

Ed Sheeran‘s songs about love are always so incredibly swoon-worthy. No wonder the English ginger kid has amassed such a dedicated and largely female following. He isn’t afraid to unzip his chest and let the contents of his heart spill out onto the page and in the studio booth. But what about when he speeds up the tempo, raps and muses about a sexy rendezvous, like he does on ‘Sing’?

We’ve dissected the meaning behind ‘Sing,’ his latest single (and the first from new album ‘X’). It boasts E. Sheeran rapping — mind you, in his way — and offering up a falsetto vocal. It’s got a Justin Timberlake energy to it, too. It finds Ed navigating a hookup that becomes more than he may have wanted it to.

“No, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to say / But I can just figure it out and hope and pray / I told her my name and said / ‘It’s nice to meet ya’ / And then she handed me of a bottle of water filled with tequila / I already know she’s a keeper / Just from this one small act of kindness I’m in deep / If anybody finds out / I’m meant to drive home but I’ve drunk all of it now / No sobering up we just sit on the couch / One thing led to another / Now she’s kissing my mouth.”

This is where Sheeran excels, in setting the scene. The devil is in the details, and he is all about telling a story and painting a lyrical picture. It’s so vivid that you can practically envision the singer with the girl who slips him some liquid courage. But he captures the essence of hooking up with someone new with his story. It doesn’t have to be read quite so literally, but it only adds to the essence of the narrative when you do.

“I need you darling / Come on set the tone / If you feel you’re falling / Won’t you let me know / If you love me / Come on get involved / Feel it rushing through you / From your head to toe.”

The narrator also isn’t afraid to admit some insecurity and vulnerability. He needs to hear something from her directly. He needs her to express what she is feeling, simply because it might not be that obvious. This regularly happens during the excitement phase of a new hook up. You don’t really know that person yet, so you never can tell what they are feeling or thinking, and you might be forced to ask for a confirmation or acknowledgement. Who can’t relate to that?!

“Can you feel it? / All the guys in here don’t really wanna dance / Can you feel it? / All that I can hear is music from the back / Can you feel it? / Found you hiding here so won’t you take my hand, darling / Before the beat kicks in again.”

Sheeran puts the action in a musical setting, since it’s what he knows and music always adds to the overall romance. It only adds to the richness of the setting of the lyrics. He is also asking her to put things out there, in the open, since that’s not how communication often goes between new hookups. You can never really be sure, unless you are told. His statement about the guys not wanting to dance is a way of showing that. They aren’t there for the reason they seem to be there. The question: Why are they there? Oh, the male-female communication dynamic!

That’s our take on Sheeran’s latest single. What’s yours?

Listen to Ed Sheeran, ‘Sing’

Next: Watch Ed Sheeran Cover Beyonce's 'Drunk in Love'

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