Ed Sheeran’s song “Supermarket Flowers” has brought tears to the eyes of many people, but who is it about?
‘Supermarket Flowers’ was written about the death of Ed Sheeran’s grandmother. This may come as a surprise to people who thought the song was about his mother. In fact, the song is written from his mother’s perspective.
Ed Sheeran’s Grandmother Passed As He Wrote Divide
In an interview, Ed Sheeran revealed that as he was writing the “Divide” album, his grandmother was very sick. Right before the album was set to be finished, his grandmother passed away.
Ed has often said that his way of making sense of the world is to start creating music, so that is exactly what he did.
It was his grandmother (named Anne) who inspired the love of music in Ed’s life. Anne also inspired his brother, Matthew who is mentioned in the song, to pursue classical music.
Ed is open about the fact that he inherited her musical abilities. “I just wanted to make a tribute to my gran,” the singer explains. “She was the musical one in my family. Hopefully, I will pass that on to my kids.”
He Originally Wasn’t Going To Put It On The Album
Ed also revealed in that same interview that he performed the song at the funeral, but he was never going to include it on the album. It was his widowed grandfather who encouraged him to add it.
In the interview, Ed says, “My grandfather just turned to me [at the funeral], he was like you have to put that out, that has to go on the record. It’s such a good memory, that’s why it’s ended up on there.”
There are many intimate details in the song, which you don’t often hear from Ed, who tends to remain a bit more private. While his songs do have personal details, they don’t often reveal as much as this one did. If the song was written for public release, it is likely that it wouldn’t have the personal touches.
The Song Isn’t Written From His Perspective
There is a lyric in the song that has confused some people and caused them to think it was about his own mother: ‘you are an angel in the shape of my mom’. However, he didn’t write the song from his perspective. Instead, he wrote it from the perspective of his own mother losing her mother.
Ed explains his perspective on writing the song this way: “She was one of the nicest women you’d ever meet and she was my mom’s mom. It was written from my mom’s point of view; it was choosing loads of specific things and then just finishing it as a song.”
It Has Impact Many, Many People
While Supermarket Flowers was a modest hit for the singer/songwriter (certainly less of a smash than the other songs off of the album), it seems to have impacted many people more than the other songs off of Divide. It is the twelfth song on the album but packs more of an emotional punch than any other song.
The song was bolstered thanks to an extremely emotional performance from Ed on the 2018 BRIT Awards:
People seem to refind the song over and over again, mostly when they lose someone who is important to them:
This Wasn’t His First Song About Anne
Interestingly, Supermarket Flowers isn’t the first song Ed wrote about Anne. He also wrote the song “Afire Love” (from his album Multiply) about Anne’s husband Bill, who died in 2013.
Another song on Divide, called “Nancy Mulligan” tells the story of how the Irish couple fell in love despite their Catholic-Protestant divide.
Ed Sheeran’s Mom Is Still Alive
Of course, there is also confusion over whether or not Ed Sheeran’s mom was still alive at the time the song was released. Yes! His mother is still alive as of August 2020.
Supermarket Flowers Proves A Lasting Legacy
The nature of today’s music world proves that it isn’t easy to make a song that will last for a long time. However, people are born and people will die, so songs like this one will forever have a lasting legacy. It continues to connect with people who lose those they love. It will also help the memory of Ed’s grandmother stay alive.