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 Feb 29th, 2016 2:01pm report
I dedicated this song to my 14 year old nephew who committed suicide last November. Listening to Ed's song, helped me to find the words to say goodbye.
Wait for me to come home..
anonymous Nov 29th, 13:52 report
This song dedicated to me at the time when i had no hope but from then, i feel someone loves me
anonymous Aug 7th, 8:57pm report
You could then set up an easel and paint over the lit image on the canvas. And from there developed the art of photography.
anonymous Jul 2nd, 7:18pm report
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.
anonymous Mar 15th, 2019 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, 2019 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
More Ed Sheeran song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|You Give Love A Bad Name||anonymous|
|Scars To Your Beautiful||anonymous|
|You Want It Darker||anonymous|
|White Winter Hymnal||anonymous|
|Waiting for the Miracle||anonymous|
|You Should Be Dancing||anonymous|
|Too Young Too Fall In Love||anonymous|
|White Winter Hymnal||anonymous|