First Times

Album: = (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song does what it says on the tin as Ed Sheeran details some of his first times.

    He recalls his Wembley Stadium debut on July 10, 11 and 12, 2015.

    I thought it'd feel different, playin' Wembley
    Eighty thousand singin' with me
    It's what I've been chasin' 'cause this is the dream


    Sheeran sold out all three shows.

    The singer remembers some milestones in his relationship with his wife, Cherry Seaborn.

    The first kiss, the first night, the first song that made you cry

    The two were classmates at secondary school and stayed in touch after Ed moved to London in 2008. Their friendship turned romantic seven years later. They got engaged in January 2018 and married a year later.
  • Sheeran wrote this gentle ballad in Nashville with former Evanescence member David Hodges and his go-to producer, Fred Again. The two also wrote Sheeran's standalone single "Afterglow."
  • Back in 2018, Sheeran set up in Nashville to start work on his fourth full-length album, Equals. Originally conceived as an acoustic record, this song is a leftover from those sessions.
  • During his stay in Nashville, Sheeran and his writing team lived in a house with a wine cellar. After a day of sessions, they relaxed by downing plenty of wine, puffing on weed pens, and watching a movie. One night, Fred asked Sheeran to re-vocal "First Times." The flame-haired pop star could barely keep his eyes open. "I was not a functioning human," he told Apple Music. "I sung it once, and that's the version on the song, which is why it's gentle and delicate. Because I was almost gone."
  • Ed's brother, the classical composer Matthew Sheeran, did the string arrangement.
  • Sheeran debuted the song during an intimate show in Coventry, England, on August 25, 2021. He performed it at the city's 1500-capacity HMV Empire in celebration of the music retailer's 100th birthday.

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