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Released: 2021

“Shivers” by Ed Sheeran is an intoxicating love song, painting a vivid picture of a passionate, enamoured relationship that leaves Sheeran completely overwhelmed by his feelings. The narrative is filled with allusions to unstoppable desires, sensual all-night dances, and an unyielding attraction that is both fiery and chilling.

The song kicks off with “I took an arrow to the heart,” a phrase rooted in the idea of being struck by Cupid’s arrow — a potent symbol of falling in love. It’s a head-over-heels, sudden kind of dalliance that Sheeran’s diving into, emphasized through references to a lover’s unique taste “like strawberries and something more.” It’s a sensory journey Sheeran takes us on, from the taste of his lover’s mouth to leaving “lipstick on my guitar”— a sexy, tangible image of romantic yearning.

When Sheeran sings about wanting to “dance ’til the sunlight cracks,” he’s underlining the reckless abandon that comes with new love. He’s lost in time, caught up in his significant other, and doesn’t want the euphoria to end. This line also gives us a clue that this is no staid love; it’s wild, it’s intense, and it’s so electric that even the dawn breaking can’t halt their dance.

Crucially, the chorus hits with the line “And when you’re close up, give me the shivers”, the titular shivers depicting the physical manifestation of the intense emotions he’s feeling. Conjuring up an image of a love so enthralling and electrifying, it stirs up a visceral, almost trembling reaction.

The verse “On the backseat in the moonlit dark; Wrap me up between your legs and arms; Ooh, I can’t get enough” conveys an intimate and sensual experience with his lover. This raw, passionate exploration of love also highlights Ed’s vulnerability, as he admits, “You know you could tear me apart,” which, paradoxically, is followed by the lover’s capacity to “put [him] back together.”

“And when they say the party’s over, then we’ll bring it right back” suggests the resilience and determination in their relationship. Despite the world’s pace or the challenges they encounter, they have the will and power to sprout back into their passionate love fest, and their world continues.

In the bridge, the lines “Baby, you burn so hot, you make me shiver – with the fire you got, this thing we started; I don’t want it to stop, you know you make me shiver,” Sheeran further accentuates the potent mixture of heat and chill his lover incites in him. It’s a captivating push-and-pull of sensations and an ode to their fiery passion.

Overall, “Shivers” by Ed Sheeran is a potent portrait of passionate, intense love that makes you lose track of time and leaves you yearning for more. It’s a melody that gets under your skin and makes you feel, well, shivers.

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