Ed Sheeran’s song “Eraser” from his Divide album, conveys the experience of a struggling musician. The story explains the difficulties that can come with this career choice like family jealousy, financial problems, and the standard that musicians should be happy because they are following their dreams and it was their choice to be ‘impractical.’ This musician has gone on a journey to get to where he is now and in order to cope with all of the stress that comes with it, he used alcohol and drugs to numb and erase all of the pain away.
In the first verse Sheeran sings,
"And when the world's against me is when I really come alive."
Sheeran uses hyperbole to explain how the speaker feels under all of the pressure he is feeling. Obviously the whole world is not against him, it is an exaggeration, but this shows how stressful the industry can be. I think that the emotions that occur when life is just not going the way you want it to and bad things keep happening is a relatable experience to many. This hyperbole also shows the strength of alcoholism. Stress can spark a desire to drink drink more which explains why the speaker uses it as a coping mechanism. I think that this can also be a use of personification because the eraser becomes alive when there is more stress. When the speaker becomes overwhelmed those are the best times to use the pain eraser.
Sheeran uses a lot of metaphors to describe his journey,
'To be caught up in the trappings of the industry Show me the locked doors, I'll find another use for the key And you'll see"
Sheeran compares locked doors to the journey he had to overcome to get to where he is now. When he says “I’ll find another use for the key,” he explains all of the different situations in which he had to find a different way to accomplish his end goal. He could not just unlock the door with a key he would have to kick it down or something in order to take steps positively impacting his career.
In the final chorus Sheeran sings,
"And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser"
Sheeran uses repetition to demonstrate how difficult it was to live with this situation and how much alcohol helped him through it. Since he repeats the line four times, I think it represents how he needed to reassure himself that his life was going to get better and that he would eventually be a successful musician. However for the time being, this was going to be how he got through daily life. Repeating it convinced himself that it was an acceptable action to take part in. The repetition helps tell the story because it shows how he struggled through the experience and how he could only rely on himself and alcohol.
Sheehan uses hyperbole, metaphors, and repetition to convey his story of a drunk and struggling musician who ends up being successful but with the help of no one but himself.
3 thoughts on “Another Ed Sheeran Song”
I really enjoy this song. I think it’s one of Ed Sheeran’s more up beat songs, but I have never really known what it’s about because most of his songs are obviously love songs. I also did not know that Sheeran used alcohol to cope with pain. Very interesting, and well done!
This is one of my favorite songs on Divide, and I always loved how it focused more on his own personal struggles instead of being a love song. His songs like this one always make me realize just how persistent he is and how much he’s gone through–but I guess that’s what makes his music so great 🙂
Fantastic job adding context to such a nuanced song! I hadn’t listened to much of Ed Sheeran before the Divide album, and I’m gaining a deeper appreciation for his music in general as of late.