Dark Light

Released: 2014

Scrolling through Ed Sheeran’s discography, one thing that consistently stands out is his extraordinary talent for transforming complex emotions into universally relatable pop music. “Photograph,” one of Sheeran’s major hits, is a prime example of this. The song is an ode to love’s healing power and its capacity to transcend time and distance, using poignant metaphors and tangible imagery.

Sheeran begins with the straightforward confession, “Loving can hurt,” showing us that love is a double-edged sword, capable of inducing both euphoria and desolation. He amplifies this sentiment when he speaks of love as the only thing that makes us “feel alive,” juxtaposing the difficulty of love with its irreplaceable, invigorating essence.

The chorus, “We keep this love in a photograph,” introduces a powerful metaphor. This phrase encapsulates the idea of preserving moments of joy and serenity, which are immune to the wear and tear of time. From keeping someone “inside the pocket of your ripped jeans” to putting someone “inside the necklace you got when you were 16”, Sheeran uses emblematic items to communicate the concept of cherishing love’s durability by cementing it into tangible, everyday items.

Sheeran also makes a clear-cut promise of unwavering support, reiterating, “You won’t ever be alone,” despite any possible “hurt” inflicted by the relationship. Emphasizing that even if things get tough in their separation, he’ll be there, “Wait for me to come home.”

The song also shows the mutual healing process love provides. “Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul,” Sheeran assures us, shifting the narrative from hurt to healing. He proposes that even though love can wound us, its power to mend and comfort is unparalleled.

Decoding the popular phrase “only words bleed,” sheds light on Sheeran’s stance on emotional honesty. Here, he uses bleeding as a metaphor for wounds inflicted by harsh words or sentiments, reiterating that it’s acceptable to voice pain and discomfort within a relationship.

Overall, “Photograph” serves as a universal love letter to anyone who has experienced deep affection, encompassing both its ebbs and flows. It beautifully illustrates the peaks and valleys of love, and underscores the importance of cherishing and nurturing it, despite its trials and tribulations.

Related Posts