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How Many Songs On Ed Sheeran’s New Album Are About Taylor Swift?

A thorough investigation.

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Ed Sheeran's sophomore album X was released yesterday and everyone wants to know one thing: how many of his swooning ballads and sneering kiss-offs are actually about touring partner-turned-BFF Taylor Swift? To answer that question, we've researched every song on X and come to some interesting conclusions.

1. One


Is this song about Taylor? No.

Who is this song about? Ed has been very clear that "One" is about Alice, the girl who inspired most of the songs on +. Ed and Alice dated for several years when they were teenagers and broke up when his music career began to take off. Written shortly after the release of his debut in 2011, "One" is one of the last songs Ed ever wrote about their relationship.

2. I’m A Mess


Is this song about Taylor? No.

Who is this song about? "I'm a Mess" was one of the last songs written for X and it was inspired by Ed's then-current girlfriend. For most of last year Ed was rumored to be dating a good friend ofTaylor's named Claire Donald. Best guess is this song is about her.

3. Sing


Is this song about Taylor? Probably not.

Who is this song about? Ed has said in interviews that "Sing" is about a night out in Vegas with a "very, very well-known person." In the song he sings about a seeing flames from the side of a stage — a possible allusion to his candlelit performance at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. While Taylor also performed that night, Ed goes on to sing about the object of his affection handing him a water bottle full of tequila. It's kinda hard to imagine good-girl Taylor walking around an award show with a secret bottle of liquor. However, it does sound like something Taylor's bad-girl bestie Selena Gomez might do. Ed was photographed with Selena at the awards show and then again outside her house a couple of weeks later. Smart money says this song is about her.

4. Don't

"Britain's Got Talent" / Via

Is this song about Taylor? No.

Who is this song about? The song tells the story of a mystery popstar who broke Ed's heart by sleeping with one of his best mates. The internet seems convinced that he's singing about Ellie Goulding and One Direction's Niall Horan. While Ed and Ellie were photographed getting cozy at the 2013 Video Music Awards, she apparently put an end to the short-lived romance by sleeping with Niall later that night.

6. Photograph


Is this song about Taylor? No.

Who is this song about? Between the bittersweet tone and callbacks to lyrics on his last album, it seems like Ed is reminiscing about his relationship with Alice on this song.

7. Bloodstream


Is this song about Taylor? Tangentially.

What is this song about? Struggling on tour. Ed has alluded to having a difficult time on Taylor's Red Tour; he struggled with the pressures of fame, put on a lot of weight and indulged in some seriously self-destructive habits. He's since cleaned up his act, however, so maybe Taylor helped him out?

8. Tenerife

"Everything Has Changed" Music Video / Via

Is this song about Taylor? Definitely.

Who is this song about? Yes, Ed is trying to convince the world that the last word of the song is "Beth" not "best" but we know better. First off all, Tenerife Sea and Taylor Swift share initials. Coincidence? Seems unlikely. Secondly, Ed waxes poetic about his love's height and blue eyes. Who could that possibly be referring too? Finally, Ed has said the song is about spending a magical evening with a girl at the 2013 Grammys. What did Ed do at the 2013 Grammy Awards? Spend two hours holed up in a dressing room with Elton John and, you guessed it, Taylor Swift. It doesn't matter what Ed says publicly, this song is clearly about Taylor.

10. The Man


Is this song about Taylor? No.

Who is this song about? Ed raps angrily about an ex who moved on with a "dude from private school." While Taylor hooked up with private schooler Connor Kennedy after she had written two songs with Ed, she is definitely on better terms with him than whoever inspired this song. Best guess? Alice again.

11. Thinking Out Loud

MTV's "Nine Days and Nights of Ed Sheeran" / Via

Is this song about Taylor? Probably not.

Who is this song about? Ed has revealed in an interview that the song is really about an ex-girlfriend but since he's been mum about which one, Sweeran fans are sure to claim this song as their own.

Number of songs about Taylor: One.

Conclusions we can draw about the true nature of Ed and Taylor's relationship: Ed had a big crush on Taylor at the start of their friendship but moved on when it wasn't reciprocated. Sadly, a top-secret Sweeran love affair remains the stuff of fanfiction.

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