Wasn't Expecting That

Album: Jamie Lawson (2015)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • This emotional, heart wrenching ballad is a single by Jamie Lawson, the first artist signed to Ed Sheeran's Gingerbread Man imprint. "It's a song about the first moment that a couple meets to the last," Lawson told MTV News. "It takes you through their whole life."
  • The British-born Lawson has opened for Sheeran on tour and "Wasn't" was the song that won the "Thinking Out Loud" star over. "I cried, I cried the sixth time I heard the song," Sheeran said of his reaction to the track. "I see it as the musical version of The Notebook. For me, that's what it is. Anytime a dude has seen The Notebook, they'll never tell you that they've seen it because then you're like 'Did you watch the end?' I found the song like that because any dude that has listened to it, you're like 'What did you think of the end?'"
  • Jamie Lawson's self-titled LP debuted on the UK album chart at #1. The singer-songwriter's nearest rival was, ironically, his label boss Ed Sheeran's x, which ended up one place below him at #2.
  • Lawson explained to Songwriting magazine the step-by-step process of writing the song. "'Wasn't Expecting That' came out of a conversation where someone said it on an evening out and it just stuck. The first line that came was the second line, 'Just a delicate kiss, anyone could've missed, and I wasn't expecting that.' I thought that was pretty sweet and it led on to; what else would you not expect after this and what leads up to it? It's where the craft of songwriting takes over very instinctively.

    Quite quickly I could see that this was a journey of a couple from the moment they met onwards. I was really chuffed with the chorus chords going from an Em to E major (there's a capo on the 7th fret) at the point it does, giving a feeling of positivity at that precise moment. I almost considered it 'a bit clever.' Proper songwriters had been doing that sort of thing for years of course but it was the first time I'd done it. I also like the change up through G, Ab bass to Am on the Middle 8, it really helps build that part of the song and reinforce the surprise in the lyric; the pure, unadulterated joy of the love they have for each other.

    I'm very proud of it. The last lines were the hardest. They took a couple more days and when they came I wasn't expecting it at all. It almost shocked me, to the point where I seriously thought about finding another way to end the song – but my instincts battled with any doubt and the ending stayed. It's devastating and the song has been warning you it's coming the whole way through, and yet you still don't expect it."
  • This won Best Song Musically and Lyrically at the 2016 Ivor Novello Awards.

Comments: 1

  • Dave Moody from Chester UkAfter 45years married, my wife died from cancer on 24th April 2015 - I wasn't expecting that replicated our life together from start to end on the month it was released.
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