Ed Sheeran on songs inspired by “unbreakable bond” formed with wife during her illness

'No Strings' and 'Spark' from Sheeran's new album '-' explore marriage, trauma and more

Ed Sheeran has shared with fans one of the key inspirations behind his new album ‘‘ (‘Subtract’).

The pop star told the audience at his Eventim Apollo show in London on Monday (March 27) that his wife’s illness made their already deep bond “unbreakable”. It inspired a number of songs on his upcoming fifth studio album [via MusicNews].

His wife, Cherry Seaborn, was last year diagnosed with a tumour while she was pregnant with their second child. Sheeran said that new song ‘No Strings’ was inspired by the ordeal, as well as advice that his father had given him about marriage.


Sheeran said: “My dad said to me when I got married, ‘You will not know what real love and marriage is until there’s death and real sickness’. He said that because that happened when he first married my mum. There was real, real grief that happened in the family and real, real sickness that ended up in grief that they had to go through.”

Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn
Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn. CREDIT: JMEnternational/Getty Images

Seaborn is now recovering from her illness. Sheeran went on to say that he’s always felt a “real closeness” with his wife but that her ill health formed an “unbreakable bond”.

Sheeran said: “[My dad] said that it really brought them together and once that happens it’s an unbreakable bond. I’ve been married now almost five years and I’ve always felt real, real closeness. But last year was when that unbreakable bond was made. I know you should feel that before with a marriage and children, but I really feel like ‘if we can get through 2022, we can get through anything.’

The singer-songwriter also debuted the song ‘Spark’ and explained how it explores the idea of “moving on” from trauma.

“You know in movies when people have break-ups and they put everything into the fire and go, ‘It’s a new dawn?’ Sheeran told the crowd. “I feel like that’s a healthy thing sometimes, to move on and be like, ‘That was then and this is now.’ The lyrics in this chorus are, ‘We’ll build a fire, we’ll torch our old life and hope that the original spark of what made it amazing survives and we’ll just move on from it.'”


In the announcement earlier this month for ‘-‘ the album was described as the “last in [Sheeran’s] decade-spanning mathematical album era” and is an acoustic-driven album that was written and rewritten against a backdrop of personal turmoil.

Meanwhile, the pop star said recently that he doesn’t see the point in music critics and revealed that Jay-Z “respectfully passed” on featuring on the singer’s massive hit single ‘Shape Of You’.

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