This week, the people of Ireland will be asked to vote in a historic referendum on abortion. After decades of debate, they will decide whether to repeal an amendment dating back to the ‘80s and legalise abortion up to 12 weeks.
Everybody’s mum’s favourite ginger singer and one-time Game Of Thrones star has now been drawn into the debate, following reports that his 2011 song ‘Small Bump’ was being used as part of the pro-life campaign.
The lyrics include lines like, “You’re just a small bump unborn just for four months then torn from life / Maybe you were needed up there but we’re still unaware of why” – which could certainly be twisted to serve the Pro-Life agenda, but were actually about a miscarriage.
In a telling interview back in 2011, Sheeran explained he wrote the song about a friend who lost a child.
“Yeah… it was quite a difficult subject to tackle. I wrote it from their perspective. It was my perspective looking on them to begin with. It’s quite a touchy subject, so I wrote it from the perspective of actually being the parent.”
Sheeran quickly took to Instagram to subtly shut down the anti-abortion campaigners and share his thoughts via Insta-story.
“I’ve been informed that my song Small Bump is being used to promote the Pro-Life campaign, and I feel it’s important to let you know I have not given approval for this use, and it does not reflect what the song is about,” Sheeran wrote.
Ed Sheeran calling out the pro-life campaign use of his song pic.twitter.com/w8GVAHcbnX
— Kathryn Walsh (@kathrynreilly) May 18, 2018
It’s not hard to imagine why Sheeran was annoyed that this deeply personal song was appropriated in this manner. But kudos to him for actually calling these people out.
We can’t necessarily assume he’s on one side or another – but he could have just let it slide if he agreed with the supporters of the existing law. Just saying.
This is not a new problem for pop stars – just last year we saw a similar thing happen to Taylor Swift.
But unlike Sheeran, Swift was noticeably silent and didn’t denounce her white supremacist fans.
And then there’s always the classic: Republican politicians using classic rock songs during their campaigns, only for the singers to tell them to sod off. Bruce Springsteen is extremely not here for your flag-waving repurposing of ‘Born In The USA’.
So good on ya, Ed! Be like the Boss, not Taylor – you tell those Pro-Lifers what’s what.