Over the past few days, I've done nothing but play Ed Sheeran's Divide on repeat, and even though he made fans wait awhile for new music, these songs are definitely worth the wait. So far, one of my favorite songs on the album is "Nancy Mulligan," and not just because it's catchy — because it's an adorable true story about Sheeran's grandparents. And if you were wondering, his grandmother loves it. Need proof? Sheeran's grandma hearing "Nancy Mulligan" for the first time was actually caught on video, and her reaction is crazy cute.
In the song, Sheeran sings about how his grandparents, Nancy and William (who passed away in 2013) met and fell in love during World War II, despite the fact that Nancy's parents didn't approve of him. It's a truly sweet story about two people who obviously mean the world to Sheeran, and seeing Nancy hear her grandson's lyrics for the first time will basically make your heart explode.
Last week, Irish news outlet RTE visited Nancy at home, where she showed off photos of Sheeran as a kid like any proud grandma would as she talked about how he's still the same person to her that he's always been.
And then, RTE played the song for her, and oh my god, her face.
What I love most about this is the fact that she acted unimpressed, while her expression told a totally different story. Her actual words may have been, "It's fine, as long as I'm not the one playing it," but the tears in her eyes were all happiness and pride. She was obviously touched!
The only thing that would have made this better was if Sheeran was there to listen to it with her, but being that he just released an album and all, I'm assuming he's been pretty busy lately.
Sheeran also talked about the track while talking to Zane Lowe for Apple Music. He said:
"One was Protestant and from Belfast and one was Catholic from southern Ireland. They got engaged and no one turned up to the wedding. He melted all his gold teeth in his dental surgery and melted them down into a wedding ring. They wore borrowed clothes to get married and had this sort of Romeo and Juliet romance which is like the most romantic thing.”
How sweet is that?! I love that Sheeran managed to include his grandparents in his album... and I'm not at all surprised that his grandma is the precious woman she is. Here's hoping more about their love story is revealed on future albums!