Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill”: A Review

Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill”: A Review

The hometown tune that started 2017 off right
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We finally have it: a fresh, new start in 2017. And what better way to kick off the year than with Ed Sheeran releasing new music only six days in?

Unlike many of my fellow teenagers, I don’t love all pop music. There, I admitted it. I’ve never been much of a fan of Ariana Grande or Justin Bieber, because in all honesty, I just think that their music lacks true substance and authenticity. Sure, not every song has to be the deepest piece of literature, but songs that are halfway composed of sound equipment have just never really been my cup of tea. I prefer to stick to singer-songwriters, and still pop music (just not all of it.) Naturally, I really enjoy Ed Sheeran’s music. It’s no wonder that he is said to have inspired Shawn Mendes and Niall Horan’s styles of music (of course these two are some more of my favorites as well). After around eight months, I was delighted to hear from Ed Sheeran again.

One of the two singles Sheeran released, called “Castle on the Hill” is possibly one of the most truthful and detailed songs that I have ever heard from him. It is an upbeat tune, complete with a drum beat, a hint of guitar, and raspy vocals. Instead of depicting his love interests or musical inspiration, he explores the very origin of where it all began: his hometown of Framingham in County Suffolk, England. The song begins with innocent lyrics depicting a childhood injury: “When I was six years old I broke my leg//I was running from my brother and his friends//and tasted the sweet perfume of the mountain grass I rolled down//take me back to when I...” Sheeran begins the song with this to depict his vulnerability in childhood, before launching into the next verse that shows his progression of growing up “Found my heart and broke it here//Made friends and lost them through the years//And I've not seen the roaring fields in so long, I know I've grown//But I can't wait to go home.” I felt that these lyrics were something that everyone can relate to about their hometown. No matter how out of touch you become with your roots because of where life ends up taking you, your memories of growing up there are forever cherished.

As Ed matures throughout the song, he reminisces about smoking cigarettes and getting drunk for the first time at 15, which him and his friends began to regret after they all got sick. He recalls his first kiss, which he reckons he “didn’t do it right.” Although he is in a stable career now, his admittance of these youthful mistakes makes him more authentic as an artist, by essentially saying that lessons were learned, and he still won’t forget the positive moments associated with these times. Sheeran then ties it back to the present, talking about friends who sell clothes, work by the coast, are getting married for the second time, are single fathers, and even one who unfortunately lost a brother to an overdose. Regardless, he still appreciates the experiences that he had with these friends. The admittance of these imperfections creates a more realistic image, which I appreciate, in comparison to some other superficial artists of today.


By this point, you’re probably wondering about the song title. Why “Castle on the Hill”? At the end of the chorus, Ed fondly remembers watching the sunset over the castle on the hill in his town. While this is some beautiful imagery, I interpreted a deeper meaning as well. A castle, to me, has always represented wealth, and sunsets are a successful end to the day. Basically, what I believe Sheeran is saying is that despite his youthful hiccups and even a few mistakes in adult life, he has had enough positive escapades to be satisfied. He is rich in life, and is content with how he ends his days, even if it’s just with a simple sunset. It’s important that we remember this, in a world that’s increasingly materialistic; that even if you have made mistakes, there is always a way to overcome them, and learn to live your best life. I really enjoyed Ed Sheeran’s newest single, and think it’s a sign that 2017 is off to a great start.
Cover Image Credit: Capital FM

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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