Thinking out loud

Ed Sheeran’s new song “Thinking Out Loud” from his album ‘x’ seems to be all the rage these days.

It’s on the radio; it’s on the internet; it’s on the charts and Sheeran has been nominated for a few Billboard Music Awards, although those are for the album and for him as the singer as opposed to the song itself.

So what is all of the buzz about? Well according to some people, the song reminds them of what is now referred to as the “golden oldies”. It’s a love song, first of all and in it Sheeran sings of undying love for one’s partner. Second of all, the lyrics are poetic and romantic – they take you back to the pure love sung about in the 60s. And third of all, there is collaboration; there is no rap section and to date there is no remix (at least we have not heard any). How cool is that?

20140104culture boxWhen Sheeran croons “Take me into your loving arms//Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars//Place your head on my beating heart//Thinking out loud//That maybe we found love right where we are…” he is speaking to a person being honest with his/her feelings for his/her partner.

In the song, rather than just think it and imagine that the person could fathom it, the singer verbalizes it; a baring of the soul so to speak.

And that right there is the song’s appeal. When examined closely, the lyrics are not that great really. I mean why would their love only last until they’re the biblical three score and ten years old? Would things change if they lived to say 75? Or 87? Whatever happened to never-ending love? Whatever happened to love until death? I mean this is the sort of legendary stuff that is the ethos of romance.

But what grabs the attention instead in this case is the vulnerability of the singer. The singer is laying it all out. What if the partner is not the ‘the one’? It stands to reason that the singer would be heartbroken. But it won’t happen and it can’t. This is not a song about unrequited love. This is the happily-ever-after everyone seems to be looking for; hence the song’s appeal.

Not many people do this: think out loud. The main reason is that it calls for spontaneity and that we’re usually very guarded when we speak.

In fact, children, because of their innocence, are perhaps the only homo sapiens who think out loud. They are often prone to say whatever it is that comes to their mind on any given occasion. Children say the most unexpected things sometimes. And often we find mirth in what they say. We laugh out loud and we regale each other with the things our or other people’s children say. The truth is that we are born with innate honesty. Lying is learned behavior. Children are taught to lie by adults who either lie to them, lie to others in their presence, cause them to lie to others, or abuse them for being honest.

If this didn’t happen, there would be more transparency and less lying and cheating. For sure, the world would have fewer liars and cheats.

Do you think out loud?

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