music

Ed Sheeran’s “Happier” Makes Me Sad in the Best Possible Way

This past weekend, Ed Sheeran released his newest album, “Divide,” and like any other Ed Sheeran enthusiast, I took myself to the nearest Target and purchased the deluxe album asap. I needed his new album immediately. Just look at this beaut (that is my laptop in the background btws).

ed sheeran divide my cd pic.jpg

(sorry if it’s a little blurry, I’m too impatient to take a quality pic on my awful phone)

(ALSO IT’S BLUE!!! THE COLOR IS SO CLOSE TO TEAL I COULD SCREAM. Not really, but teal is my absolute FAVORITE color.)

Like any artist does, he released some singles from his new album before it released, and we were given two at once. TWO.

God bless you, Ed Sheeran.

He released “Castle On The Hill” and “Shape Of You”, and I had been listening to them both on repeat until I could get the album. Before I was able to get the album though, I had listened to it through once or twice on Spotify, to get a feel for it, and let me tell ya, I am in freaking love with the entire album.

But, since I can’t go over every single lyric from every single song on his album (I totally could, but then this would be an Ed Sheeran blog, which would not be a bad thing), I’ll choose one song to look at.

Because Ed Sheeran is a master of song lyrics.

And I aspire to be his best friend one day so that I myself can write song lyrics with him.

Think of the possibilities.

Okay, back on track.

Like the title says, I’ll be looking at the song, “Happier” off of Ed Sheeran’s new album because it makes me sad in the best possible way. Kind of ironic though since the song title itself is the opposite of what the song makes me feel.

Verse 1
Walking down 29th and park
I saw you in another’s arms
Only a month we’ve been apart
You look happier

Saw you walk inside a bar
He said something to make you laugh
I saw that both your smiles were twice as wide as ours
Yeah you look happier, you do

Wow. Okay, so Ed’s hitting us with a lot of info in this first verse. First off, let me just say that what I love about all of Ed Sheeran’s music and his lyrics are the stories he tells in every single song he writes. Ugh. It’s crazy how he is at this.

So, here, in the first verse, we start out in scene, WHICH IS A FICTION WRITING MOVE. NICE.

Scenes are always a great visual in any writing, and I appreciate Ed’s music so much more because he does this all the time.

So we’re in scene, and we see the speaker* of the song see his ex of a month happier and smiling bigger with her new beau and it’s just so sad and so beautiful.

*I’m using “speaker” here (and for the rest of the post) because as in any poetry writing (which lyrics are arguably like poetry look at Bob Dylan), the poem itself is not autobiographical of the poet. So, I’ll treat the song the same way.*

And then we get to the first pre-chorus.

Pre-Chorus
Ain’t nobody hurt you like I hurt you
But ain’t nobody love you like I do
Promise that I will not take it personal baby
If you’re moving on with someone new

What I love here is that the speaker of the song owns up to his mistakes and he’s not saying he’s angry that she moved on so quickly because she’s happier.

That’s such a nice thing to hear because usually when people break up, if one moves on pretty quickly, there’s a lot of anger. There’s not anger here in this song, just understanding. And now, we look at the chorus.

Chorus
Cause baby you look happier, you do
My friends told me one day I’ll feel it too
And until then I’ll smile to hide the truth
But I know I was happier with you

Ugh. The chorus of this songs kills me, especially since Ed does this thing in this song, where he changes the pre-chorus and chorus up each time, and this really helps move the narrative of the song along.

But in this first chorus, it’s so heartbreaking and beautiful because the speaker is saying how one day he’ll heal too, but until then he’ll smile and push through his pain even though he knows he was happier with her. Ugh. Congratulations, Ed Sheeran, you have succeeded in breaking my heart.

Next verse!

Verse 2
Sat in the corner of the room
Everything’s reminding me of you
Nursing an empty bottle and telling myself you’re happier
Aren’t you?

Short and sweet and sad. And beautiful. We’re still in scene here, and Ed is killing it with keeping us in scene throughout the song so we can see what’s happening in the song.

If you haven’t already gone and listened to this song on repeat as I’m going through the lyrics, you should so you can feel the emotional turmoil Ed is singing through.

Also you should listen to this song because even though it’s not spelled out in the lyrics, there are background vocals of Ed singing “Hey ya, hey ya, hey ya,” and it’s gorgeous and adds to musicality of the song.

Next pre-chorus and chorus, which WARNING, gives me all the feels.

Pre-Chorus
Ain’t nobody hurt you like I hurt you
But ain’t nobody need you like I do
I know that there’s others that deserve you
But my darling I am still in love with you

Chorus
But I guess you look happier, you do
My friends told me one day I’ll feel it too
I could try to smile to hide the truth
But I know I was happier with you

LOOK. AT. WHAT. ED. FREAKING. DID.

Remember how earlier I told you guys Ed does this thing where he changes the words later on in his pre-chorus and choruses?

HE DID IT HERE.

He changed this second pre-chorus to say how the speaker of the song needs her unlike everyone else, and how he knows others deserve her but he’s still in love with her.

And then in this second chorus, he says how he “could try to smile to hide the truth,” which is different from before when he said he “will try”. These simple and small changes in the lyrics only heighten the emotional heartbreak heard throughout this song.

And then, after singing more hey ya, hey ya’s as a bridge instead of actual lyrics (which I think is fine because they are beautiful), Ed goes into the last chorus, where AGAIN, the lyrics are slightly changed, as he sings the chorus softly.

Last Chorus
Baby you look happier, you do
I knew one day you’d fall for someone new
But if he breaks your heart like lovers do
Just know that I’ll be waiting here for you

Ugh. That last chorus kills me every. single. time. If this were a poem, this last chorus would be the last major turn we see before the end because there’s a change from what we already know and have seen in the poem, and we end somewhere new.

Ed Sheeran does this so well. He not only sings this last chorus tenderly, but the lyrics express how the speaker of the song will continue waiting for the girl if she wants him, and that’s just so sweet and so sad because he knows she might not come back.

That just kills me because who hasn’t ever felt this way before about someone? Ed Sheeran always does such a fabulous job of capturing such emotional moments in a song, and I will gladly always listen to every heartbreaking beautiful song he writes. Even if it makes me cry.

Wow. Sorry this got so long, but my love for Ed Sheeran has no limits.

That’s it for today!

Peace,
Brittney ❤

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