What does Photograph mean?

Ed Sheeran: Photograph Meaning

Album cover for Photograph album cover

Photograph Lyrics

When I'm away, I will remember how you kissed me
Under the lamppost back on Sixth street
Hearing you whisper through the phone,
"Wait for me to come home."


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    Erik Castaldo
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    May 10th 2015 !⃝

    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!


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jan 8th 2021 !⃝

    This is how I hear the song.... Maybe its a story of a couple where the man serves in the army and is taking part in a war. Both of them say goodbye to each other after giving each other a photograph of their memories. "You won't ever be alone" says that even if they get separated forever due to death of the soldier, the photograph will always be there to remind the lover about her love. "Wait for me to come home" touches directly to the heart when a soldier says it to her love.Knowing that they may not be able to meet each other after the war.Loving can hurt because there is always a fear of separation. Loving can heal because there is always a reason to live/wait for the other person. Every line fits this perspective. Jut try listening it this way.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Mar 16th 2017 !⃝

    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

  4. anonymous
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    May 12th 2023 !⃝

    this song touches my heart in so many different ways, although nothing in my life relates to the lyrics, this song will always have a special spot in my heart.

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 15th 2023 !⃝

    This song has deep meaning,deeper than the oceans. It reminds of my dad that I lost when I was only 6, I still remember the memories we shared. The photographs brings back memories and it brings him back in my memories. It's definitely hard to move on and definitely we keep this love in a photograph.

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 3rd 2022 !⃝

    I like this song because, i really miss my old moment with my sibling, friend, family. When i was 7yo and now i'm 12 yo. And the meanings of this lyrics is really touch my heart (

  7. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2021 !⃝

    Love isn't all about happines. Sometimes a person must experience being hurt. This remind me of my family and our status right now. Despite of the difficulties we've been thru we manage to uplift every challenges in our life. So no matter how many times we shout and fight back, we're still family... they are still the ones I will return to.

  8. anonymous
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    Apr 24th 2020 !⃝

    I think it’s about when two lovers are separated from each other for a long period of time. It highlights how hard relationships can be when the two lovers in question are separated.
    A photograph is all that you have of your significant other while you are apart.

  9. anonymous
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    Nov 29th 2019 !⃝

    This song dedicated to me at the time when i had no hope but from then, i feel someone loves me

  10. anonymous
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    Aug 7th 2019 !⃝

    You could then set up an easel and paint over the lit image on the canvas. And from there developed the art of photography.

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 2nd 2019 !⃝

    When I wrote this song to my relationship to Kevin he wanted to do fun song on the album but I picked out the song for him and also it’s very incredible and also very cool but it had been great year, but we’ve had great year with songwriters but it’s fun we love working with them. We worked with Bruno mats, Hilary Duff, Kelly Clarkson.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Mar 15th 2019 !⃝

    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?)

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
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    Feb 18th 2019 !⃝

    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.

  14. anonymous
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    Feb 12th 2018 !⃝

    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

  15. anonymous
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    Feb 7th 2018 !⃝

    This songs speaks to many different people about different things to me i see where Ed Sheeran is meaning to say

  16. anonymous
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    Jan 21st 2018 !⃝

    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

  17. anonymous
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    Jun 11th 2017 !⃝

    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...

  18. anonymous
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    Mar 24th 2017 !⃝

    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

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