Ellie immediately denies the rumours on Twitter, writing that same night “ I love that holding hands with my friends means we’re an item”. She later deleted that tweet. On the flipside, Ed offered a decidedly differing version of events, revealing that the pair were in fact more than just good friends, saying “ I mean, normal people don’t hold hands if they’re just good friends.”
Some say, you cannot deny that ‘On My Mind’ was an Ellie Goulding song about Ed Sheeran. It is widely speculated to be in direct retaliation to Ed’s initial song ‘Don’t’ (supposedly about Ellie Goulding and Niall Horan – how she cheated on Ed while the two were staying in the same hotel). These two songs are the elephants in the room of both awkward deniability and affirmation. They helped stoke the rumours that could have easily lost their appeal with silence from both parties.
Since then, Ellie has never wavered in her denial of romance between herself and Ed saying “We’ve known each other for a few years. I think he’s a really nice guy and a brilliant musician. We’ve bumped into each other and we’ve hung out and stuff but the thing is if I hang out with someone, it’s instantly like I’m ‘dating’ them. We were never in a relationship.” Ellie confirmed that she “did go on a few dates with Niall but I was never in a relationship with Ed.” She went on to say that “I have absolutely no idea where that came from and why it was turned into such a big thing.”
On My Mind Meaning: According to Ellie “It’s just a fun song...”
When her song 'On My Mind' was released, Ellie went on the defensive, squashing speculation that the song was about Ed. “I’m sorry to all the people that want it to be about someone – it’s not, it’s like a myth. There’s no one to think about. It’s just a fun song.”
However, given the lyrics include lines about being in a hotel with an inked man who fell for her, we may be forgiven for the direct link to Ed Sheeran “Next thing that I know, I’m in a hotel with you / You were talking deep like it was mad love to you/ You wanted my heart, but I just liked your tattoos".
Don’t Meaning: According to Ed “I had to be as honest as possible...”
Ed Sheeran on the other hand was seemingly more candid as he appeared to fess up to dating her in this scathing song. When talking of Don’t he said, “I had to be as honest as possible in that song because otherwise what’s the f-ing point? There’d be no anger or pain in that song if it was just very sweet and nice. The whole reason people connected to it was that everyone’s been that angry at one point, everyone’s hated their partner or spouse like, ‘Don’t f-with this.’ For me it needed to be done. It didn’t necessarily have to go on the album, but it definitely needed to be written.”
Ed told Billboard the story in the song was 100% true.
With lyrics about infidelity in a hotel “It’s not like we were both on tour/We were staying on the same f*ing hotel floor” and “we make money the same way”. It just has to be about someone in the biz, (unless Ed has a side hustle we don’t know about). Some think all signs point to Ellie.
So it’s a he said/she said scenario we have here. Filled with denial, anger, hurt, betrayal, confusion and misunderstanding between two famous artists. In the end, we’re the ones who lucked out - as fans, we got two great songs.