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7 Best Ed Sheeran Songs

Music touches my soul. When I am not singing, dancing or playing an instrument, I am writing articles about the songs that I hold dear.

Ed Sheeran at the Frequency Festival in Austria, August 2012

Ed Sheeran at the Frequency Festival in Austria, August 2012

While Ed Sheeran is well known as a famous pop artist who has sold millions of albums worldwide. He comes across as mild-mannered, easily approachable, and almost shy. And while his catchy, masterfully created music attracts a broad diverse audience, the content of his songs feels intimate, heartfelt, and sensitive. The juxtaposition of these contradictions paints Sheeran as a modern enigma. After achieving early success as a singer-songwriter, he took time off from his career and social media connections to travel the world and meet people face to face. With Elton John as a mentor, Ed Sheeran is in good company to continue to excel as a musician, while keeping true to himself. Sheeran strikes a careful balance of stardom and humility.

Here are the top seven songs based on popularity by Ed Sheeran.

1. "Perfect"

  • Album: 2017
  • Charted: #1 UK and USA

This touching romantic ballad was written about Ed Sheeran’s girlfriend and shot up to the number one chart position in the U.S. and UK. Sheeran wrote the song in an attempt to beat his previous hit, “Thinking Out Loud,” and he succeeded. The song is often chosen for weddings because the lyrics refer to a perfect love, the kind of soul mate that most people and especially romantics dream about. The song was recorded a second time as a duet with American singer Beyoncé and a third time with Italian Singer Andrea Bocelli.

Lyrics to look for:

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favourite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

2. "Shape of You"

  • Album: 2017
  • Chart: #1 UK and USA

Sheeran wrote this dance music-inspired pop song with Rhianna in mind as the singer, but he later decided he was better suited to sing the lyrics. The Caribbean-styled song diverts from his other songs and reflects on the diverse musical talent that Sheeran possesses, he is not a "one-trick pony."

Lyrics to look for:

Girl, you know I want your love
Your love was handmade for somebody like me

Every day discovering something brand new
I'm in love with the shape of you

3. "I Don't Care"

  • Album: No. 6 Collaborations Project (2019)
  • Charted: #1 UK #2 USA

Perhaps written for deep thinking introverts or those with social anxiety, the song tells the story of feeling uncomfortable at a party, something that many, not only introverts can relate to. The song is a collaboration between Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, both newlyweds at the time, who both share the same sentiment about preferring to spend time with their wives in a more meaningful way than with strangers at a fancy party.

Lyrics to look for:

Don't think I fit in at this party
Everyone's got so much to say, yeah
I always feel like I'm nobody, mm
Who wants to fit in anyway?

4. "Thinking Out Loud"

  • Album: x (2014)
  • Charted: #1 UK #2 USA

Here Sheeran sings of a love that begins innocently and then lasts forever, even when we are old and long past our prime. Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is similar to the song “Perfect” in that they both refer to an idealized love, the lasting deep kind of love that most people wish for and dream about.

Lyrics to look for:

And darling I will be loving you 'til we're 70
And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Oh me I fall in love with you every single day And I just wanna tell you I am

5. "Photograph"

  • Album: x (2014)
  • Charted: #15 UK #10 USA

Ed Sheeran co-wrote “Photograph” one evening with Irish musician Johnny McDaid. The song speaks of the challenges of holding on to a love when distance keeps you apart. In the absence of the one you love, it is memories, photos, and feelings that can keep your love strong. This song is part of the soundtrack of the romantic movie drama “Me Before You.” As with this and other Ed Sheeran hit songs, love is a recurring theme.

Lyrics to look for:

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer 'til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone, wait for me to come home

6. "Galway Girl"

  • Album: 2017
  • Charted: #2 UK #1 Ireland #53 USA

Sheeran had to convince music executives to keep "Galway Girl" on his 2017 album, as at the time they didn't believe that the folk music infusion would be well received. Here Sheeran shows his talent for melding music styles and collaborating with musicians, in this case, an Irish band named "Boega." The song about a female Irish fiddler was not as well received in the U.S. where it charted at #53, but was very well received in many other countries.

Lyrics to look for:

She played the fiddle in an Irish band
But she fell in love with an English man
Kissed her on the neck and then I took her by the hand
Said, "Baby, I just wanna dance"

7. "Perfect Symphony"

  • Album: No album - only available through digital download
  • Charted: #1 Belgium #1 New Zealand

"Perfect Symphony" is a classical version of the song "Perfect," this is a collaboration with Ed Sheeran and his brother Matthew Sheeran, who recorded the strings orchestration for the song. This version was later recorded as a duet with Sheeran singing parts of the song in English and world-famous opera singer, Andrea Bocelli singing in Italian. This unique pop song punctuates Sheeran's ability to not only cross over to other music genres, but incorporate them for a wider audience.

Italian lyrics to look for with English translations:

You are my woman
Sei la mia donna

The strength of the sea waves
La forza delle onde del mare

Seize my dreams, my secrets, and much more
Cogli i miei sogni, i miei segreti, e molto di più

I hope that one day, the love that accompanied us
Spero che un giorno, l'amore che ci ha accompagnato

© 2020 Tracy Lynn Conway


Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on November 15, 2020:


I am thrilled to know that you are enjoying Sheeran's songs, thanks to the article. Thank you for commenting!



Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 11, 2020:

An interesting artist. I had never heard of him but am enjoying his music. Thank you.