Ed Sheeran: Photograph Meaning
Under the lamppost back on Sixth street
Hearing you whisper through the phone,
"Wait for me to come home."
Erik Castaldo May 10th, 2015 5:28pm report
So, as far as interpretations go, everyone's comments are admirable, heartfelt, thought-out, and overall relatable... but no one's looked at this song's lyrics from the Ed's perspective outside of relationships with your partner.
First, in case you haven't seen it yet, go on YouTube and check out Ed's Official "Photograph" video, it'll all make more sense. He put it out a few hours before Mother's Day.
This song isn't just about mending a relationship with your partner, it's more about restoring the relationship with your family, more specifically Ed and his mother. Now looking at it, "Loving can hurt" seems to come from the Mother's or caretaker's point of view, because taking responsibility for a child can be frustrating and difficult, but also rewarding and Ed is spot on when he says, "you know it can get hard sometime." The the Pre-Chorus, "we keep this love in a photograph..." describes all the memories they've made, then the Chorus comes in. In the Chorus, "So you can keep me..." relates to when Ed decided to leave home and pursue music full time, and (now I'm assuming), his mother must have given him a photograph of the family to always have before he left, hoping that one day their "eyes" will "meet" again. Until then, Ed just thinks "wait for me to come home."
Now, the next verse jumps into Ed and his mother's minds: "loving can heal" refers to how they use the memories to mend or counter the separation/ the distance, or it's like insight from his mother's point of view where even though raising a child can be difficult, it's rewarding because "loving can heal." "And it's the only thing we take with us when we die" refers to the memories they've made and kept.
Then, the Pre-chorus and Chorus comes back, making the message stronger, but music is now building and intensifying the emotion, thus strengthening the message. "And I won't ever let you go..." refers to that unconditional love parents have for their children: it's a love that is true and ever persistent through any kind of pain.
That bridge or tag part, "wait for me to come home" reinforces that desire of being reunited. Then, in the final chorus, the lyric, "next to your heartbeat where I should be" relates to keeping those you love close to your heart always, while those who have impacted you life the most stay within your soul. The last section of that chorus, is a reflection of maybe the last time Ed was with his mother and family before leaving when he was young(er) and the lyrics are last conversation with his mom.
I'm probably not the first person to think of this or dive this deep into this interpretation, but it's definitely a possibly, even though Ed wrote the song, he thinks of his music like this: 'when I give it to the public, it's no longer just my song, now it becomes someone's first dance at a wedding or someone's late night feel/ get-it-all-out song.' So every one of his songs has multiple purposes, but today it was held to a higher meaning. Happy Mother's Day 2015 to everyone! Hope you enjoyed this interpretation!
anonymous Jan 14th, 2016 1:52am report
Everybody will have a different interpretation of this song. Some happy, some not so much. Recently a good friend of mine passed away. He was young and in his teens. This song was played at his funeral. This is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard and brings tears to my eyes whenever I hear it. This song represents all that family and love gives to each of us. A world without love, is it worth living in? This is the time to make memories that we can keep forever and look back on and smile. Especially since these memories and all the warm feelings friend and family love brings us, may be the only thing we take with us when we die. Love heals, and love hurts. However, you can't have rainbows without rain. I think this song is trying to tell us that we should appreciate each other every second of every day, no matter how tough things get and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you often. You never know when a day might be your last, live it filled with love and family.
anonymous Oct 9th, 2015 10:22am report
My husband left a month ago for the Army. He will be in the Middle East for a year. I miss him so much and all I have to hold on to is photos. We've been married over 13 years and everyday I love him more than the day before. He's my soulmate and this song makes me long for the day he returns home. When he does, I plan to stop at the corner of 6th street, under a lamppost and kiss him. ☺❤❤❤
anonymous Mar 15th, 3:06pm report
in this line Ed. is using a hyperbola to emphasize that he does not really know anything about love but he just love is hurtful love is the only thing that someone can take when they leave this world. He carved a necklace in the beach with a pebble for Alice. Ed dropped out of school at 16 to play gigs in different cities. For Alice to remember him when he’s away from the city, he made her a necklace with a heart pendant, so when she misses him, she just needed to breathe. More precisely, he’s saying that the only thing that bleeds in the context of a photograph is the words printed on it (ink can run, bleed outward on paper). In other words, even if she does something that makes him bleed (figuratively) it will not be reflected in that photograph because it is not possible for anything in the photograph to change…other than that the ink could bleed (tears? maybe?)
anonymous Feb 18th, 2:30pm report
I would do my album to make my friend Hayden, I would make this own album with no interruptions or anything. But just we have to make things more better and make any songs on the Spotify.
anonymous Feb 12th, 2018 2:07pm report
This reminds me of everything did with my grandad I wish I could of said goodbye to him the day he died I just wish I could see him again love you graw graw
anonymous Feb 7th, 2018 2:28pm report
This songs speaks to many different people about different things to me i see where Ed Sheeran is meaning to say
anonymous Jan 21st, 2018 1:21pm report
I see this song as the feeling of losing a loved one and perhaps one day reuniting again and being able to see each other's eyes. I played this song with a video of my 14 year old Chihuahua whom I lost to a battle with cancer. I keep his photograph and I know he is always in my heart till we meet again. This pet was my life
anonymous Jun 11th, 2017 6:38am report
i love this song...i miss my mother who was not with me....we are now seperate....i love her and miss her so much...
anonymous Mar 24th, 2017 3:03pm report
I believe this song is all about family. You need to stick with them as long as you can, because you'll never know when the'll be gone. You guys out there who are fighting with parents, siblings, or any part of family, i advise you to admit your mistakes before its to late
anonymous Mar 16th, 2017 3:24pm report
This song was playing when my nan took her last breath to me this is a powerful song that helps me get through with memories and the photographs i have of her, wait for me to come home is when the rest of the family join her at heavens gates
anonymous Mar 8th, 2017 3:10pm report
Photograph lyrics is a very romantic. It says it all. Wow, that's great.
anonymous Mar 8th, 2017 3:08pm report
Photograph song says it all. Wow! that's great!
anonymous Mar 8th, 2017 3:29pm report
My boyfriend is away at college and I only get to see him 2 days out of every week. That may change once I start working soon and it could only be 1 day. It's kind of rough for both of us because we're just so close and we've been so inseparable for the past 2 years. This song perfectly describes our relationship. I spend the week waiting for him to come home and I have a heart shaped locket that I wear everyday and it has a picture of him inside. For us, this song means that love is strong and so powerful and it will keep us together for a very long time.
anonymous Feb 21st, 2017 2:35am report
This song is so beautifully written I don't think you an give it one reason. All of us will have our own opinions and our own stories to share
anonymous Feb 19th, 2017 2:40am report
This song is about one being away from their significant other,but at the same time remembering childhood memories.
anonymous Aug 29th, 2016 8:57pm report
I believe the song is about how families can go through hard times. But helping each other get through it is what being a family means. It also talks about Ed's childhood and how happy he was growing up even though he went through some hard times. I really appreciate the song because i know lots of families can relate. That's my interpretation. ☺
anonymous Jun 25th, 2016 6:56am report
My son is heading out to discover life and who he is. I'm happy for him! This town we live in holds many toxic memories for him. Perhaps he will come back to this area to live. He might not. I'm ok with whatever brings him an abundant life. I wonder if he would think of this song as our mother/son relationship. I'm thinking of writing down the lyrics and tucking them in his suitcase... Any pro's and/or thoughts might be helpful.
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