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 Jul 16th, 2015 7:54pm report
Today I dedicated this song to the love of my life. It depicts exactly how we both feel. About 3 months ago, he decided to become a Buddhist monk in Taiwan. He loves me very much but feels his calling is to go to a monastery and dedicated his life to ending the suffering of people. He has to learn Mandarin before he goes and he is but it will take him about a year and a half to understand and carry on a conversation. In the meantime, we are still very close. We deal with this on a daily basis.There's a lot of pain and suffering...a desire to understand how Destiny can do this to two beings who love each other so deeply...
So this song represents us, our fears, dreams and hope. Hope that our separation will not be permanent and that one day he will return home. It represents our desire to hang on to each other inside our pockets...It represents our commmmitment to live in the moment and make every moment we have memorable.
So today I dedicated this song to my guy, my love, and twin flame, and he dedicated it right back to me. It's our song. Amitofo.
anonymous Feb 4th, 2015 2:30pm report
It's a promise of keeping someone you love 'close' to you, in your mind, when you're apart. Keeping a photograph with you is a reminder that the memories and the person will always be with you anyway. I think it's a promise between both of them (both partners)
anonymous Apr 24th, 4:55pm report
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.
anonymous Nov 29th, 2019 11:52pm 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, 2019 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, 2019 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.
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