Ed Sheeran just announced his 2021 album ‘= (Equals)’ and released the second single from the album. They say music can heal broken hearts. Ed Sheeran’s new single “Visiting Hours” might be a prime example of this. Passing on 4.4 million deaths worldwide from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is filled with broken hearts right now. In this song, Ed Sheeran bids farewell to someone he held close to his heart.
“Visiting Hours” is the second single from Ed Sheeran’s fourth studio album ‘= (Equals).’ This is Ed Sheeran’s first major project since his collaborative album ‘No. 6’ in 2019 and follow-up to his mathematic’s inspired album series. Announcing the album, Ed Sheeran commented his experiences that inspired this brand new album; “I’ve been through love, loss, new life, grief and everything in between during the whole period of writing it, and I feel like it’s really a coming of age record.”
Ed Sheeran explained the meaning behind this song; “The next song off of it is called Visiting Hours, which I finished for my friend Michael who sadly passed away this year.”
Listen to “Visiting Hours” by Ed Sheeran
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Ed Sheeran debuted the song at the state funeral held for legendary Australian music personality Michael Gudinski held in March 2021. Other artists such as Kylie Minogue, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, and Sting also performed at this memorial ceremony.
Ed Sheeran and Michael Gudinski were close friends and after his passing, Ed Sheeran penned a heartfelt message on his Instagram; “We were, first and foremost, friends. He was a father figure and mentor to me, but we also enjoyed the peaks of our touring career together in 2018…His legacy is unmatchable and will live on for hundreds of years. To me, and many others, he is the heart of Australian music, and always will be.”
Ed Sheeran “Visiting Hours” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
I wish that heaven had visiting hours
So I could just show up and bring good news
The entire premise of the song is set around ‘visiting hours’ that are usually connected with hospitals. Most hospitals have restrictions on hours when families and friends can visit the patients admitted to the hospital. These unrestricted hours are known as ‘visiting hours.’
Ed Sheeran takes this idea one step further and says that he wished visiting hours to visit heaven to see his friend. Death is the only ticket to heaven and it is permanent in nature. While Ed Sheeran does not want this permanent route, he wishes he could have at least a few hours every now and then to meet up with his dear departed friend.
Ed Sheeran misses sharing updates about his newborn daughter with his friend. Ed said that Michael Gudinski was like a father to him, which makes this loss much deeper than that of a music partner.
In the hook of the song, Ed Sheeran imagines himself sitting next to his friend in heaven. They share what is new in their lives. It feels as if everything will be alright in these brief hours he gets with his friend.
In the second verse of the song, Ed Sheeran continues the idea of visiting hours. He sings how he would use these hours to soak his wisdom on life, on how to raise his daughter. This shows us that Ed Sheeran had a very close and personal relationship with his friend.
In the third and final verse of the song, Ed Sheeran wishes he could discharge his friend from heaven and bring him home, just like how you would do at a hospital. But, heaven is different, and death is permanent. He knows that answer he is going to get from the angels. The answer is not that he cannot take him home, but that it happened for the best. So, Ed Sheeran has to agree and come home empty-handed.
Not so empty-handed though, he got a few hours of the best companionship he could ask for in this universe. Isn’t this what we all crave in life?!
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.