There’s not much I love more than a good, slow-dance worthy ballad. Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud is perfectly swoon-worthy. His words, cadences and that sweeping melody makes me long for a time when earnestness and gigantic overtones were admired not met with incredulous eye-rolls. He must have known this song was meant to be danced, because Nappy Tabs choreographed the video with a So You Think You Can Dance worthy number than cements his place as both a timeless lyricist and one of the top balladeers of the day.
This song makes me think of Victorian times. I’ve romanticized that time period since I first read Jane Eyre when I was 13, although I know I would have been a slave at that time. I just can’t help but imagine a life filled with opulent and constricting clothes and a social calendar filled with formal engagements and chaste but sensual affairs that consisted of little more than hushed rendezvouses in the gardens and carriage rides. And fainting, oh I would love to faint in some Lord’s arms because he held my gaze for five seconds longer than was comfortable.
So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I was born in the wrong time period. My mind is always filled with grandiose declarations and over-the top sentiments that I know I need to hold back. Most of the time, I don’t even feel like that. I just think of them. But I’ve learned it’s bad form to tell someone your windows ache for them like an empty house and then not return their phone calls for two weeks because you accidentally opened your mouth amidst a deep Pablo Neruda hole and really don’t want to go out anymore. I think I read to much Shakespeare, Dickens and Bronte sisters at a young age and I just can’t shake those grandiose themes of all-encompassing love and social inequality and the dearth of loneliness.
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am
Like most women I enviously covet those girlfriends with the sweet, “locked eyes across a crowded party” stories of how their met their partners. Those stories are so few and far between. I mean, we’re never going to see a You’ve Got Mail or Notebook worthy first meeting story based on Plenty of Fish or drunken nights at karaoke bars. That’s life in the modern world, I guess. But sometimes, I imagine myself in some 1980s power suit riding an escalator when my hand touches someone riding the escalator the opposite way and it’s kismet (or like those old deodorant commercials). I long for the time when love happened anywhere and everywhere, not through online compatibility tests, hook-ups apps or last call.
I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it’s all part of a plan
Well, I’ll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you’ll understand
Whatever way people fall in love, whether in the 1900s, the 1980s, nowadays or 50 years in the future, that experience remains universal. All living things experience love. They fall in and out of love. They make mistakes and develop life-altering connections over and over again. It’s beautiful, meaningful, tragic and gut-wretching.
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?
And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
When you are really happy it’s hard not to worry about when things will change; the inevitable other shoe drop. Will you still feel the same about each other in 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years? I don’t know for sure. But it’s definitely something to strive for.
Cause honey your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen
And, baby, your smile’s forever in my mind and memory
This is my favourite lyric in this song. Like no matter how old you get, how much your body, your interests and your personality changes, your partner will still see you as young, vivacious and fascinating as when you first met. Your relationship might change but your soul, your spirit, will remain captured in his heart, eternally engaging and cherished.