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“My heart don’t understand why I got you on my mind” is in my head about 35% of the day. Ellie Goulding’s single “On My Mind” came out on September 17th for her upcoming third studio album Delirium (which will be released Nov. 6th YAY).
I love this song. I loved it the second I heard it. I think it’s rare these days to hear pop songs that have a good voice, killer production, and good lyrics/concept. Typically I hear pop songs and I’m like “oh that’s fun but the lyrics are pretty bad” or “oh this is a good song and the production’s really tight but I wish a different voice was singing it”. Ellie Goulding’s got it all. She’s a triple threat.
So is Ed Sheeran.
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“Don’t” was his second promotional single for his 2014 release of x. I really like this song as well. It’s like an acoustic hip/hop, R&B song and Ed practically raps the whole thing but his beautiful voice still peaks through.
And he has openly admitted that it is about his brief love affair with Ellie.
I was sitting in class one day with “On My Mind” in my head and all of a sudden I was like WAIT. That song is totally a response to “Don’t”. I didn’t think this was a known theory (like the time I was really little and was in a paint class and combined red and blue paint and thought I had discovered that the combination created purple), until I did some research and it’s literally on the “On My Mind” Wikipedia page. But what’s also on there is that she firmly denies it’s about Ed.
But let’s see for ourselves.
There are a few things suspicious here.
They both sing about their love affair in a hotel. They’re both obviously very busy, huge recording artists who are always traveling and constantly staying in hotels (sometimes on the same floor).
We were staying on the same hotel floor” (Don’t)
“Next thing that I know I’m in the hotel with you” (On My Mind)
Ed Sheeran famously has those arms tats. He also wouldn’t be described as “hot” or “mysterious” or “dangerous”. He’d be described as “cute”.
Thought that you were cute…you wanted my heart but I just liked your tattoos (On My Mind)
In the clean version of “Don’t” the lyrics are “don’t mess with my love”. In the pre-chorus of “On My Mind” Ellie sings “you don’t mess with love you mess with the truth.” Zing.
Ed’s song is very much about being betrayed. He basically says that even though we weren’t exclusive we also weren’t nothing and you shouldn’t have been with someone else. From Ellie’s side, she’s confused because Ed wasn’t clear about his intentions.
And I wasn’t looking for a promise or commitment, but it was never just fun and I thought you were different (Don’t)
“I always hear, always hear them talking, talking ’bout a girl, ’bout a girl with my name, saying that I hurt you but I still don’t get it. You didn’t love me, no, not really” (On My Mind)
That^ has to be about her hearing people talk about her after “Don’t” came out.
I mean, come on.
Ellie and Ed’s brief romance was in the late summer/early fall of 2013.
Ed released “Don’t” on June 13th 2014.
Ellie’s co-written “On My Mind” was released September 17th 2015.
Plenty of time (and in turn, not too much time) for Ellie to process “Don’t” and write a response to it.
So why is she “firmly denying” it? Maybe it’s genuinely not about him. But, she’s also currently in a serious relationship with Dougie Poynter and has been for almost two years now. That looks like the longest relationship she’s had in awhile (perhaps ever) and maybe she doesn’t want to say anything to screw that up.
The argument could be made that it’s not about Ed because obviously she’s moved on and with someone else. But you don’t have to still be caught up in a certain feeling to write about it. I know when I write songs, I can pull an experience from awhile back and jump back into what that felt like and write about it. It’s material, it’s not necessarily how I still feel now.
In the end, does it really matter if that song is about Ed or not? Nah. But it’s fun to think about.
T-Swift may not be the only songwriter that can openly burn an ex in a song. Watch out.
Take aim and reload, Ellie.
Monica Moser is a native New Yorker, grew up in Texas and now lives in Nashville. She's a graduate of Belmont University where she studied Songwriting & Music Business and interned with NoiseTrade, Nashville's Independent Radio Station Lightning 100 and Dualtone Records (The Lumineers, Shakey Graves) assisting their TV/Film Synch Licensing department. She’s a musician, writer, playlister and is the Marketing Coordinator at Streaming Promotions in Nashville, and is also Coordinator at NoiseTrade.