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I have a visual and musical (auditory?) memory. Music often transports me to the a very specific moment in time where my visual memory takes over and plays back scenes of stories from my past.

This tune does that for me and the story goes something like this:

Scanning through the FM dial while driving with my daughter, we ran across this song half way into the bridge and started to sing. Finishing the song, I travelled to a not too distant past when my daughter had been singing (as she often does) this catchy song for a couple of weeks. The repetition eventually found a home and the tune (plus a small selection of lyrics) started to play over and over in my head. Deciding it would be fun to learn the song on guitar and enjoying with her, I sat down on the living room freize with my acoustic and started to strum my way through the chords; not yet reading the lyrical accompaniment.

As the cacophonous sound from the living room started to coalesce into a song that was recognizable, my daughter joined me on the floor and began to sing along. Eventually, my comfort with the chord sequence progressed and I started to concentrate on the lyrics and, as usual, decipher the meaning. What emerged was a completely different understanding of the song and a teachable moment for our daughter.

So we had a discussion about …

White lips, pale face
Breathing in snowflakes
Burnt lungs, sour taste
Light’s gone, day’s end
Struggling to pay rent
Long nights, strange men

And they say
She’s in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since eighteen
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us
‘Cause we’re just under the upper hand
And go mad for a couple grams
And she don’t want to go outside tonight
And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly

Ripped gloves, raincoat
Tried to swim and stay afloat
Dry house, wet clothes
Loose change, bank notes
Weary-eyed, dry throat
Call girl, no phone

And they say
She’s in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since eighteen
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us
‘Cause we’re just under the upper hand
And go mad for a couple grams
And she don’t want to go outside tonight
And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
An angel will die
Covered in white
Closed eye
And hoping for a better life
This time, we’ll fade out tonight
Straight down the line

And they say
She’s in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since eighteen
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
They scream
The worst things in life come free to us
And we’re all under the upper hand
Go mad for a couple grams
And we don’t want to go outside tonight
And in a pipe we fly to the Motherland
Or sell love to another man
It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly
To fly, fly
For angels to fly, to fly, to fly
For angels to die

The A Team – Ed Sheeran

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