Recently, I had the idea to start a series of ranking articles and came up with the idea of doing a Top 40 list. By Top 40, I mean my 40 favorite songs by a particular artist. The obvious first choice was Ed Sheeran, my favorite artist of the twenty-first century. Today, I will be ranking my top 40 Ed Sheeran songs.
40. Small Bump – +
The song comes midway through Sheeran’s debut and is a fun, sweet, acoustic song about pregnancy and love. It’s a very chill jam that tells a sweet story. Sheeran also released a live version of the song on the Wembley Edition of X, but the original + version is better in my opinion.
39. New York – X (Wembley Edition)
One of many special additions from the Wembley Edition of Sheeran’s sophomore effort, New York tells the story of falling in love in the big apple.
38. Everything You Are – Don’t (EP)
One of the forgotten gems of Ed Sheeran, this song appears on his EP Don’t, which preceded X. The song has a very Elton John vibe to it and is so much fun to listen to. It’s a crime it didn’t get more recognition.
37. Even My Dad Does Sometimes – X
This slow ballad talks about how it’s okay to cry and mourn the tragedies and hard things that come your way. It’s a beautiful song that pleads the listener to keep going and not give up.
36. Shirtsleeves – X
This song about comforting heartbroken friends details the story of a boy who loves a girl who has just now become available and he makes himself present to her by comforting her. It’s a song with a sweet sentiment.
35. Take It Back – X
One of the lesser known songs from Sheeran’s second album, Take It Back demonstrates the third talent in this singer/songwriter’s toolbox that makes him a triple threat: rapping. Performing over an acoustic beat, Sheeran demonstrates an elegant flow pattern that absolutely kills while he simultaneously shreds on his guitar.
34. Barcelona – ÷
Appearing on his junior effort, the latin-pop blend mixed with Sheeran’s trademark acoustic stylings is a killer track that is sure to get your feet tapping.
33. Bloodstream – X
This tragic song about doing drugs is a cautionary tale told from Sheeran’s own personal experiences.
32. Don’t – X
This track about friends with benefits was the most popular to come off X and was named one of the songs of the summer upon its release, garnering ludicrous amounts of radio play. Unfortunately, this is why it’s so low on my list.
31. I’m A Mess – X
This song about emotional heartache is evocative and features some of Sheeran’s best vocals.
30. Runaway – X
This song tells the story of a child running away from home, which is inspired by Sheeran’s own personal experience. The song is very blues-inspired and is a rich song to listen to.
29. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here – ÷
This love song is inspirational, uplifting, and holds its own spot on what is easily Ed’s most energetic effort yet: ÷.
28. Nina – X
Nina is a pretty, piano-driven love song about teenage love and how he fell in love with Nina.
27. New Man – ÷
Ed always has a song on his albums where he criticizes the newest partner of his former lover. This iteration of the theme takes it in a more lighthearted direction and does a fun job of jabbing at the “new man”.
26. Happier – ÷
This is probably one of Sheeran’s most tragic and real songs. The song tells of Sheeran’s expressed tragic happiness for his ex-lover’s new found romance and profound happiness as he waits to be that happy with someone else as well.
25. Bibia Be Ye Ye – ÷
The perfect road trip song, this care-free diddy follows Sheeran as he traces his steps from last night’s drunken escapades including finding his wallet and keys. It’s a delightful song that is a must for any road trip.
24. Sing – X
This is another popular track from Sheeran’s second album that is about needing love from a specific girl. It’s a very fun song,
23. Lego House – +
The song that led most people to his music, Lego House details his want to fall in love and grow old with his love and how he wants to rebuild the relationship and keep going.
22. English Rose – X (Wembley Edition)
This is another road trip song that follows Ed as he travels Tennessee looking for his dreams while reminiscing about the love that he has waiting for him back in England. The acoustic jam is very upbeat and fun.
21. Make It Rain – X (Wembley Edition)
This one is one of the extremely rare examples of Sheeran building his song off of an electric guitar instead of an acoustic. The R&B/Gospel-style song is infectious and slow and evocative.
20. Autumn Leaves – +
This gentle treasure tales about falling in love during the fall and is, in my opinion, the definitive “autumn” song.
19. Touch and Go – X (Wembley Edition)
This song is fun and fast-paced and treat for the ears. Trust me and listen to it. You’ll thank me.
18. You Need Me, I Don’t Need You – +
The song that solidified Sheeran’s talent as a rapper, the song shows off Sheeran’s talents and vents his frustrations about industry people and critics.
17. Shape of You – ÷
Easily Sheeran’s best produced song, Shape of You is the flagship song of his third album. The song talks about lovers who meet in a bar and the relationship that follows. It’s a great song, but I don’t need to tell you that.
16. Afire Love – X
This song tells the sweet story of Sheeran’s grandfather and the struggles of old age. He also tells about what his grandfather said to his grandmother. It’s a beautiful song.
15. Dive – ÷
This is the other example of Sheeran building his song around an electric. The slow jam details Sheeran’s hesitations to “dive” into a new relationship.
14. Tenerife Sea – X
This acoustic ballad talks about falling in love and does it masterfully. It’s a beautiful song that is unmatched in Sheeran’s catalog, which features lots in the way of love songs.
13. Supermarket Flowers – ÷
This piano-driven song is a tragic one. Detailing the death of his grandmother and the mourning process that followed from the perspective of his mother. It’s by leaps and bounds the most heartbreaking song in his catalog.
12. What Do I Know?
This song talks about how music and love can save the world. It’s a very important and powerful song. There’s only one image that can sum up this song…
11. I See Fire – X
This haunting song was written for 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and appears in the end credits. Its depicts the story of Smaug’s attack on Rivendale, the scene that closes out the film.
10. The A Team – +
This ballad about a prostitute’s life is tragically beautiful. It’s the best one from his debut album.
9. Galway Girl – ÷
This catchy tune about a perfect night in Galway with the fiddler in an Irish band is perfect.
8. One – X
The opener for his second album is a great song about waiting for love from a specific person and how they are the only one for him. It’s the perfect start for an album.
7. Thinking Out Loud – X
Many have named this the definitive slow dancing love song. I would agree had a certain song not been released on ÷. Nevertheless, the grammy-winning song is a masterpiece.
6. Photograph – X
This beautiful acoustic ballad about lost love works surprisingly well for road trips.
5. Castle on the Hill – ÷
You know how a song can find you at the right time and right place? This is one of them for me. As a newly minted senior in high school, the lead single off of Sheeran’s third album, the song about nostalgia and childhood is perfect to me.
4. The Man – X
This rap song about betrayal and moving on is excellent, with some of the best production on a Sheeran song ever. Bravo!
3. Nancy Mulligan – ÷
Irish music is very fun, especially for Irish people such as myself. This song about how his grandparents got together is infectious and stellar. It’s always on rotation in my house.
2. All of the Stars – X (Wembley Edition)
This beautiful song about falling in love under the stars is gorgeous and sweet. It’s an underrated and under-appreciated gem in Sheeran’s catalog.
1. Perfect – ÷
The song is literally called perfect, need I say more? This love song is actually the best love song of all time and is absolute mesmerizing. It’s my favorite song in his catalog.
What do you think? What is your favorite Ed Sheeran song? Which artist should I make a Top 40 for next? Let me know!