"Sunburn" as written by and Ed Sheeran....
You’re not her
Though I try to see you differently
I tow the line
You see, I’m searching for what used to be mine
I saw your eyes
And then I saw her staring back at me
And I will try to find another one
Who suited me as well as her

I moved far away from you
And I want to see you here beside me, dear
But things aren’t clear
When we never even tried
We never even talked
We never even thought in the long run
Whenever it was painful
Whenever I was away
I’d miss you
I miss you

She was mine
I was hers
And all that’s in between
If she would cry
I would shelter her
And keep her from the darkness that will be

If I moved far away from you
And I want to see you here beside me, dear
But things aren’t clear
We never even tried
We never even talked
We never even thought in the long run
Whenever it was painful
Whenever I was away
I’d miss you
And I miss you

Don’t drop me in
It’s not my turn
If you cut deep
Then I might learn
You scarred and left me
Like a sunburn

Don’t drop me in
It’s not my turn
If you cut deep
Then I might learn
You scar and leave me
Like a sunburn

We never even tried
We never even talked
We never even thought in the long run
Whenever it was painful
Whenever I was away
I’d miss you
And I miss you


Lyrics submitted by carlalsford, edited by johnk347

"Sunburn" as written by Ed Sheeran

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Sunburn song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about a relationship that had to end because the narrator had to move away. However, you can tell that the narrator, in this case the guy, still wanted them to have a long distance relationship but the other person, the girl, did not.

    "You’re not her
    Though I try to see you differently"
    - Since the breakup he is been trying to see other people in his new town. And although he is trying his best to move on he can't help but remember his ex (Alice).

    "I tow the line
    You see, I’m searching for what used to be, mine."
    - He has his guard up because he is unconsciously comparing everyone to his ex.

    "I saw your eyes
    And then I saw Alice staring back at me"
    - Even though he is trying, he can't hep but think of Alice and what they used to be.

    "So I will try to find another one
    Who suited me as well as her"
    - However, he remembered that he will never be back together with Alice. So he know that he has to move one, and find another potential girlfriend (or wife) just like he did with Alice.


    "I moved far away from you"
    - I'm not reading too much into it. I think he literally had to move away. Since Ed Sheeran is singing it I assume that he had to tour and spend a lot of time on the road. However, it could also meaning that he just moving away from his hometown.

    "And I want to see you here beside me, dear"
    - Even though he is away he still wishes she was right there besides him and no one else (like his girlfriend) .

    "But things aren’t clear"
    - He is not sure where their "relationship" is at anymore. He doesn't know how she feels.

    "When we never even tried
    We never even talked
    We never even thought in the long run"
    - She didn't gave their relationship a chance. He was willing to have some sort of agreement, but she called it quits- without a fight. And it pains him because he thinks that she didn't think of what could've been if they would've stayed together (maybe marriage?) . To him, distance wasn't wasn't strong enough as their relationship. He thinks that they should have at least tried.

    "Whenever it was painful
    Whenever I was away
    I’d miss you
    I miss you"
    - If they would've stayed together, he wouldn't have cheated on her when it got painful. He would just miss her like he misses her right now even though they are not together.

    "She was mine
    I was hers
    And all that’s in between"
    - They were perfect for each other.

    "If she would cry
    I would shelter her
    And keep her from the darkness that will be
    If moved far away from you
    And I want to see you here beside me, dear"
    - I think that he is thinking that when he tells her that he is moving away she is going to cry and he is going to console her (as he always does). And then he will tell her that he still wants them to be together- they don't have to break up. They are too perfect for each other.

    "But things aren't clear"
    - He is confused. She didn't reacted like he thought she would. Instead, she broke up with him. Maybe they weren't in the same page or maybe (just maybe) he loved her more than she loved him.

    "We never even tried
    We never even talked
    We never even thought in the long run
    Whenever it was painful
    Whenever I was away
    I'd miss you
    And I miss you"
    - I think this is the same as the other one.

    "Don't drop me in
    It's not my turn"
    - He is saying that he is not ready for them to broke up. He still has too much to fight.

    "If you cut deep
    Then I might learn
    That you scarred and left me
    Like a sunburn"
    - I don't know how the first two lines apply to my theme but the las two mean that she was his sun. She used brighten her day and make everything perfect. But now that she broke up with him he just feels the sunburn and not the warmth and light that the sun used to bring him.
    maris94on November 30, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI also think that the song is referring to the old person that his ex used to be and its gone because he ruin the relationship somehow and time later when he went through a hard time he wanted come back because the relationship always made him feel right, but she's a different persona already, he miss the old one and feels guilty because it was his fault that she changed.

    I thinking that the title "sunburn" its referring to the relationship and the mark that she left on him with all the warmth that she give him, that didn't damaged him terribly after breakup but with the memories and lost hurting him everyday.


    You’re not her
    Though I try to see you differently
    (When he try to reach her again he notices that is not the one he fall in love with, but still holds that memory of her)

    I tow the line
    You see, I’m searching for what used to be mine
    (He's trying to get back the relationship when she loved him)

    I saw your eyes
    And then I saw allice staring back at me
    (Allice is his ex girlfriend and all those memories are still in his head)

    And I will try to find another one
    Who suited me as well as her
    (This show that what he's looking for the feeling that he had with her, the kind of relationship that they used to have, he's not actually in love with her entire person)

    I moved far away from you
    (He was the first in loosing interesting on the relationship)

    And I want to see you here beside me, dear
    But things aren’t clear
    (He want her back and the way it was before but she is not that person anymore and he's not feeling the same thats why he's confused)

    When we never even tried
    We never even talked
    We never even thought in the long run
    Whenever it was painful
    Whenever I was away
    (They didn't try to save the relationship when the things went wrong, they just let that happen but now that they are away he miss her and its painful to had let that relationship gone, the long run its referring the running of him that make her change)

    I’d miss you
    I miss you
    (He had miss her when they were away and now that he's trying to get her back stills missing her, the old her)

    She was mine
    I was hers
    And all that’s in between
    (They used to fix perfectly)

    If she would cry
    I would shelter her
    And keep her from the darkness that will be
    (Maybe the bad times of her were the reason why he start getting away and now he regrets that and say that even in the bad times he would be with there now)

    Don’t drop me in
    It’s not my turn
    (He's going trough a hard time and don't want to have to lose even the memory and the ideal of her being his safe place )

    If you cut deep
    Then I might learn
    (He didn't take the importance on the relationship before and now that she's different and don't want to get back he will learn to giving value to the relationships and persons)

    You scarred and left me
    Like a sunburn
    (That she made a change on him because of all the warmth that she gave him and leaves him gradually even if it wasn't a deep scar that make him suffer too bad but slowly)

    Don’t drop me in
    It’s not my turn
    If you cut deep
    Then I might learn
    You scar and leave me
    Like a sunburn
    (When he change the word "left" to "leave" its trying to say that she's not going back to him and she's making him another scar with the memory that will disappear hurting him gradually again)

    We never even tried
    We never even talked
    We never even thought in the long run
    Whenever it was painful
    Whenever I was away
    I’d miss you
    And I miss you
    (He closed the song saying this again because she indeed was like a sunburn that disappear slowly not hurting you one time but every day a little bit with the memories and regrets of something that were someday wonderful.. He says again that in all the time that they had been away he was missing her and even talking with her again he's still missing the old time and the old her)

    All this was just my interpretation and sorry for the grammar mistakes and all that its just that english its my second language and i haven't practiced it for too long.
    marijose75on January 13, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI see this song in a slight different way. I thought that maybe it's was story about a father and a daughter. The mother died at childbirth and the father secretly blames the daughter for killing the love of his life.

    "You're not her, though I try to see you differently." You're not your mother, you can't love me the way she did but I try to stop reminding myself.

    "I'm searching for what used to be mine" I can't love you and take care of you because I'm looking for the love that I lost.

    "I saw your eyes, and I saw her staring back at me" Seeing you reminds me of her. Although I know she would want me to be a good father to you, the reminder of her only makes me hurt.

    "I will try to find another one that suited me as well as her" I will try to find a mother for you, someone to fill the aching gap in my heart.

    "We never even tried, we never even talked, we never even thought in the long run" We've never discussed what the future will hold for us. What will happened to our relationship once you grow up.

    "Whenever it was painful, whenever I was away. I'd miss you." I love you even though you're here instead of her. You are my child and I do love you although I may not show it.

    "She was mine, I was hers and all that’s in between. If she would cry I would shelter her and keep her from the darkness that will be" I could always kept her safe but there was no way to keep her safe this time.

    "Don’t drop me in it’s not my turn. If you cut deep then I might learn. You scar and leave me like a sunburn." If you harm yourself then I would regret ignoring you but I won't be able to deal with losing you both.

    "We never even tried, we never even talked, we never even thought in the long run. Whenever it was painful, whenever I was away. I'd miss you. I miss you" Now you're gone and we never even tried to get along. I did love you and if I was ever gone I found myself missing you and now I miss you.
    scarlet112on February 16, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo comments. Imagine that. Ed usually has interesting and noteworthy songs, but perhaps this one just doesn't require a response.
    SweetCheeks2on March 08, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my favorite song off his album. It's so raw and it makes you feel all of it.
    Jocesauruson June 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think that he's trying to have a relationship with this new girl, but he's in too much pain from his previous relationship because he keeps looking at the other girl and his being reminded of the girl who broke his heart. I think she might have been deeply depressed and a cutter (if you cut deep/ I might learn). I think he felt partly responsible for taking care of her but the toxic relationship ended in a lot of pain for him, but he's still not over her
    seb27on November 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAn ode to the rebound girl or boy. The song is about trying to love someone even if you're not over the old one.

    The persona, or Ed, is telling the one he is currently with that she reminds him of his recent relationship as shown by the lines: "You're not her... I'm searching for what used to be mine." "I saw your eyes and I saw her staring back at me." and "I will try to find another one who suited me as well as her."

    He tells her (the new girl) that he wants to be close to her but things aren't clear. Maybe it was too much too fast because there are no labels set "We never even talked, we never even thought in the long run." but he seems to only remember her when it hurts or when he needs someone to comfort him.

    Don’t drop me in
    It’s not my turn
    If you cut deep
    Then I might learn
    You scarred and left me
    Like a sunburn

    He is asking the current girl not to let him go just yet but she did. And scarred him like sunburn. Meaning temporarily. The "relationship" (used loosely) didn't last and didn't leave much of a mark. It hurt during the time perhaps but eventually faded into nothing. Sunburn, well burns, but rarely scars. And there is the ending of most if not all rebound relationships.

    Anyway I hope this helps you like the song more. I love it.
    atalanteaon September 06, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is about Alice, Ed's first love. They were together in high school but they parted away because one of them had to leave the town. In this song he says how much she misses him and how hard it is to live a love story with Alice still in his head. :)
    reb1061284on June 22, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI kinda see it as.. like, two sides of a person, his girlfriend. It seems when he refers to the girl as 'her', he is talking about her good side, or the person she used to be. When he is talking about her in second person, 'you' is the person that she turned into, the person he didn't want to be with.

    'Don’t drop me in
    It’s not my turn
    If you cut deep
    Then I might learn
    You scar and leave me
    Like a sunburn'

    He's not ready to leave her yet, either. This also includes the 'i moved far away and i missed you.' And if she leaves him now, then he'll be broken hearted.

    Idk, I'm probably way off.
    gvd97on August 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI interpret the song in a different way than a lot of other people because of my personal experiences. My best friend has changed a lot and we used to fool around a bit and I kind of fell for her. I never told her about it but either way, we were always eachothers. We're like soulmates but in the form of friends as of now.

    Over the years, I became really depressed and she just didn't seem to want to help me. She "scarred and left me". She's still here but she's not the same person she used to be. And I wish that maybe we could try at being together but it won't ever happen.
    stylinsonon August 19, 2012   Link

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