Ed Sheeran – “Afterglow” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Ed Sheeran’s “Afterglow” is a musical snapshot of a moment, capturing the warmth of lingering love. Sheeran expresses a deep connection through beautiful imagery, possibly with a significant other. The essence? It’s the serene moment after an emotional climax – the “afterglow”. The lyrics speak of cherishing fleeting moments, finding beauty in the mundane, and the desire to hold onto that warmth as time passes. This is not just a love song; it’s an ode to memory, to moments that are too precious to let go.

Have you ever felt the lingering warmth of a beautiful moment? “Afterglow” is that musical warmth. Join me as we explore its radiant depth.


“Afterglow” Lyrics Meaning

From the outset, “Stop the clocks, it’s amazing” emphasizes a desire to freeze time, to savor a beautiful instant. Sheeran paints an intimate scene where light plays on someone’s hair, highlighting A million colours of hazel, golden and red”. It’s not just about the physical allure, but the emotions tied to that moment.

“Saturday morning is fading” contrasts the fleeting nature of time with the enduring quality of the emotions. It’s a reminder of the transient nature of moments, but the feeling they leave behind can be eternal.

The lyrics “We were love drunk, waiting on a miracle” portray a couple lost in each other, waiting for something magical. Their love is described as intoxicating and immersive, to the point where the external world feels nonexistent.

Sheeran’s commitment to this feeling is further established in “Oh, I won’t be silent and I won’t let go”. He’s determined to cling to this afterglow, this warmth that follows a special experience.

The changing weather, depicted in “The leaves are buried under six inches of white”, is a metaphor for life transitions. Yet, in the midst of change, constants like music (“The radio is playing, Iron & Wine”) and love provide solace.

Lastly, “This is a new dimension… I’m holding nothing against it, except you and I” underscores the depth of their bond, one that transcends the physical realm. Sheeran, through this song, tells us that while moments fade, their warmth can linger on, providing comfort in colder times.

The Story Behind “Afterglow”

In this song, Ed Sheeran, known for wearing his heart on his sleeve, focuses on a singular, fleeting moment, elevating its importance to the realm of the ethereal. When “Afterglow” was released, Sheeran clarified that it wasn’t part of an album but a stand-alone piece. He mentioned that he wrote and recorded the song in 2015 during a period of introspection. Taking a step back from the frenzy of his skyrocketing career, Sheeran was likely seeking solace in the simpler moments of life. It’s a reflection of a space where the world’s noise fades, and all that remains is raw emotion and connection.

During this period, Sheeran also met and fell in love with his now-wife, Cherry Seaborn. The sheer intimacy and warmth of the lyrics could very well be a homage to their budding relationship. The quiet moments they shared, away from the limelight, could have inspired this heartfelt ode.

It’s also worth noting that artists often pen down feelings and thoughts during moments of quietude. “Afterglow” might be one of those instances for Sheeran, a reminder to himself and to listeners of the beauty in stillness, in memories, and in the warmth that follows profound experiences.