Album: ÷ (2017)
Charted: 14 90
  • Ed Sheeran opens his Divide album with this rapped track. The guitar-driven song finds him reflecting on fame ("I wish my private life would've never gone public") and relationships gone wrong ("I wish I'd never broken her heart").

    Speaking to Beat 1's Zane Lowe, " Sheeran said of the tune: "I wanted to casually move into a stadium zone without making twelve 'Castle on the Hills.' I wanted to make songs that sounded big but weren't necessarily just euphoric stadium anthems."
  • Ed Sheeran wrote the introspective song with Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid. He recalled to Zane Lowe:

    "I was in my treehouse with Johnny McDaid and the label were like we want another 'Bloodstream' and I was like no.

    Then I was writing loads of songs with Johnny we did 'Hearts Don't Break Around Here' the same night. And before we went to bed, I was playing around on the guitar and I had that riff so we recorded it on his iPhone and I went to bed and had all these ideas of the song being called 'Eraser' cause I just liked that as a title.
    I woke up in the morning, Johnny hadn't been to bed and he produced this whole beat to that riff I recorded on his iPhone which is still the same riff. That riff is recorded from the memos. And the original first line of it was what is now the bridge 'welcome to the new show' and i was just sitting there and i was like this doesn't hit anywhere here.

    And then so I just said Johnny can you bugger off for a bit and let me just see what I can do and just write loads of bars and the first thing I came up with was 'I was born inside a small town, I've lost that state of mind. Learned to sing inside the Lord's house, but stopped at the age of 9. I forget when I get awards now, The wave I had to ride, The paving stones I played upon, They kept me on the grind' and that came within like five seconds and I was like 'Oh wow something's happening' and then Johnny came back half an hour later and we recorded the song. It was just basically vomiting on a song."
  • Friends and family filled with envy when they should be filled with pride
    And when the world's against me is when I really come alive

    Sheeran explained the lyric to Zane Lowe: "I mean the line is friends and family filled with envy but it's not outward envy it's just the odd line here and there. Just being like 'well that must be nice'. Or you'll be somewhere and you'll purposefully want to split a bill just to make a point like you could get it but you're just like today's not the day, we're gonna split the bill and someone will make a comment like 'but you're rich' and you're like ah. That's where that line is coming from.

    Friends and family are meant to be the ones that are f----n there for you and ninety percent of the time they are but every now and then there's the odd comment that just sinks your soul."
  • I may have grown up but I hope that Damien's proud

    This is a reference one of Sheeran's heroes - Damien Rice. He credits an encounter with the Irish singer-songwriter when he was 11 years old with setting him on the path to becoming a songwriter and later listed Rice's "Cannonball" as his number one "Songs That Made Me" in a Rolling Stone feature. Sheeran explained the lyric:

    "He's the only person who's never been in touch so that's my line to be like I hope he is. I've now got to the point where, one of my heroes is Eric Clapton, I've now gotten to a point where I can go to his house for dinner or he can come to mine for dinner and he's genuinely like well done mate and like Damien Rice is the one person who I've been longing to have an email. I just want a well done mate or something. I don't want a friendship I just want a 'hey I know we met when we were eleven I'm proud of you. That's all I want."
  • Sheeran talks about the pressures of his career in the music industry. In the chorus he admits to drowning his sorrows and attempting to erase his troubles with drink. (Maybe with Mind Eraser and Brain Eraser cocktails.)

    I'm well aware of certain things that will destroy a man like me
    But with that said give me one more, higher
    Another one to take the sting away
    I am happy on my own, so here I'll stay
    Save your lovin' arms for a rainy day
    And I'll find comfort in my pain

    Sheeran has frequently referenced his misuse of alcohol. He recalls getting inebriated after breaking up with his girlfriend on "U.N.I." and drowns his sorrows on "Drunk."
  • Sheeran released a special version of the song with an extended rap for youth broadcaster SBTV Music. The sepia-toned video commemorates the seven year anniversary of SBTV uploading his "You Need Me I Don't Need You", which kick-started his career.
  • Sheeran reflects during the song on his struggles with becoming an international household name. He wrote the tune in early 2016, reflecting on an earlier difficult time as his success exploded with smash hits such as "Thinking Out Loud", "Don't" and "Bloodstream."

    He explained to The Sun: "I think there is a difference between fame and success. Success is playing Wembley Stadium and fame is not being able to go outside. I think they are two very different things."

    "I had to move from where I was in London to somewhere else. I never really wanted to live in the fancy part of town, I never really want to be that guy. Then I quickly realised that why everyone lives there is because it's a sheltered community where you don't really get bothered."
  • Ed Sheeran sings about being "aware of certain things that will destroy a man like me." Q Magazine asked Sheeran what "certain things" did he mean. The singer replied: "The song's talking about pain eraser, which are anything from alcohol to drugs to women. But lots of things that relieve pain can destroy you as well."


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