November 17, 2020
I’ve always seen music as a way for people to express how they feel. It’s also one of the only ways some people can relate to the world around them. In this segment I am writing about a song that means a lot to me.
Ed Sherran tries to give the world something to relate to in his song Supermarket Flowers. He puts you in his mind. Supermarket Flowers is truly a work of art. It comes from a place of complete vulnerability. Sherran wrote the song about his grandmother who was sick and in a nursing home near his house. Since she was so close, he saw her a lot while writing his Divide album, and she ended up passing away while he was in the studio. This is one of the reasons his Divide album is considered the most emotional one he’s ever written. In order to understand the song, you have to understand how it was written.
Sherran wrote the song from his mom’s perspective. When Supermarket Flowers starts, an elegant piano enters that sets the tone for the entire song. “I took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill, I threw the day old tea from the cup, packed up the photo album Matthew had made, memories of a life that’s been loved.” The emotion he pours into his music makes it so much more than just a song. He not only puts how the family was feeling, but he adds in little details no one would know, which makes it more personal.
The next verse follows. “Took the get well soon cards and stuffed animals, poured the old ginger beer down the sink, dad always told me don’t you cry when you’re down, but mum there’s a tear every time that I blink.” These two verses take you to where Sherrans mother was. He creates a beautifully sad scene and helps you feel like you’re living in their world. Sherrans mother has to pour the ginger beer down the sink because her mom isn’t there to do it for herself. She had to take the get well soon cards and the stuffed animals and the supermarket flowers and put them up or throw them away because there was no point in having them around anymore. He didn’t have to add those things to the song but he did. He painted a picture of their pain and made it a story for us all to experience.
The pre-chorus of the song is a line of words that will make you look at life differently. Sherran strings letters together to give him and his mother some sense of closure. “Oh, I’m in pieces, it’s tearing me up, but I know a heart that’s broken is a heart that’s been loved.” That line is what makes this song mean so much more to me. In order to feel a deep pain like what Sherran and his mother are facing, you have to have had something worth losing. The fact that she’s gone isn’t the only thing that hurts. It’s the fact that there aren’t any more memories that are going to be made.
The chorus is as follows, “So I’ll sing hallelujah, you were an angel in the shape of my mum, when I fell down you’d be there holdin’ me up spread your wings as you go, and when God takes you back he’ll say hallelujah, you’re home.” Again, to understand this you have to remember that Sherran wrote the song from his mother’s perspective. Sherrans mother saw her mom as an angel. She was always there for them. For someone to be able to write something so beautiful, the person had to be pretty amazing. The next two verses have a similar format that the first two had.
The next pre-chorus is another one that makes you think about things. “And I hope that I see the world as you did ‘cause I know a life with love is a life that’s been lived.” In a lot of Sheeran’s songs you find things that just seem to make sense. You know the things he talks about because it’s common knowledge but we forget them as we grow up. Sherran reminds us that even if you only have a couple things in life that make you happy, it’s better than nothing. The song ends with the chorus being sung two more times.
This song really is one that means a lot to me. It means so much because it reminds me of one of my friends that passed away a couple years ago. She was someone who could make a room light up with her smile, and she was truly an angel sent from God.
Music isn’t always something that is meant to be taken literally. It’s there for you to enjoy something new and to escape from our world that can be so stressful. Although Sherran wrote Supermarket Flowers about a very important and specific time in his life, I can relate to it. He put in so much emotion. He made the song not only for him, but for anyone going through something similar. He tries to remind people that in order to lose something, it had to be worth losing. In his music he conveys not to focus on the pain, but to remember the time, tears, and memories that were shared.