Monday, June 08, 2015

Bloodstream: Whoa… Where Did This Come From?

Was anyone else as overcome by Ed Sheeran’s Billboard Music Awards performance as I was?

I mean, where did all that raw emotion and aggression come from? I liked it, but I was shocked by the complete departure from the softer stuff he has been putting out.

First of all, Bloodstream, written by Ed and the British bass and drum band Rudimental, sounded like it stepped right out of the LSD era of the 1960s. As I watched Ed play, all I could think of was Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock.

And what exactly is he singing about? Shooting heroin? Having your heart broken? Both? Or something more?

To find the answer, I first went to to review the lyrics:

I've been spinning now for time
Couple women by my side
I got sinning on my mind
Sipping on red wine
I've been sitting here for ages
Ripping out the pages
How'd I get so faded?
How'd I get so faded?

Hard to say for sure, but it sounds like the character in the song is getting drunk and may be planning or have already had a threesome. That’s vague, but what is very clear is that the character feels guilty. The first line, to me, says he’s been thinking, trying to sort things out.

Same thing with ‘I’ve been sitting here for ages, Ripping out the pages.’ He sounds regretful, like he’s trying to turn the clock back and take back something he’s done.

Also, both lines refer to the passing of time. Is he (the character) tired of the constant all-night parties that musicians get caught up in? It sounds like he’s at the bottom of a very bad place, a place that he wants to get out of, but may not feel strong enough to do it himself.

Next, it sounds like he’s hurt one of the women, but then I start to think that he’s taken some kind of poison to commit suicide with these lines:

This is how it ends, I feel the chemicals burn in my bloodstream
Fading out again, I feel the chemicals burn in my bloodstream
So tell me when it kicks in
So tell me when it kicks in

As the song crescendos in the end, it sounds like the guy is dying. What ever it is that he’s done – whether he killed one of the women in the room or perhaps he just can’t find a way out of the dark place he’s in, he feels there is no other way out, no way he can escape what he’s done or obtain forgiveness. This is what I see when I read the words.

And the song is so intense, I feel like Ed should be completely wiped when he’s done playing it. Like he should collapse on the stage. Probably the only thing from preventing him from collapsing is his viral young age and constant touring schedule that keeps him fit.

This is my interpretation. Next, I will search the Internet to see if Ed has explained the song to any of the media and we’ll see how close I was to the real meaning behind the song.

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