Ed Sheeran (Part 2) – but what if the Castle's no longer there?
Ed Sheeran’s song “Castle on the Hill” (2017), debuted at number 2 on the charts, and has had 307 million views on YouTube so far.
“Castle on a the Hill” is one of those heart-wrenching songs about returning to a home that may no longer be there.
Ed is in his car, driving back to his home town, with Framlingham Castle on its hill.
Framlingham will always be Ed’s home. And the castle will always be there.
His heart will always be filled with memories of Framlingham from his formative years: "Had my first kiss … We found weekend jobs … We’d buy cheap spirits … Me and my friends."
As the hook says, “We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill.”
As long as there are sunsets. As long as there is the castle. Ed will always have a home.
But life has also moved on, and Ed will never have what he once had: "Made friends and lost them … One friend left to sell clothes … One had two kids but lives alone … One’s already on his second wife … One’s just barely getting by."
And the hook sums it up: “And I miss the way you make me feel.”
What was once there is no longer there. There’s nothing to go back to.
Home may be where the castle is. But what’s the point if the castle is now cold, lifeless, and empty?
This is the conundrum of human existence. Life moves on and on relentlessly. Yet we keep yearning for something we once had, but can never have again. If we go back, we will be disappointed. But if we move on, we have to say goodbye.
Why are we like this?
It’s because the Bible says, “God … has set eternity in the human heart.”
And so we restlessly wander, yearning for a home. But we will never find it, until we find it in transcendence—eternity—in worship of the God who loves us and made us.
And if we find our resting place in God, we are set free to enjoy (and mourn) the happy memories of what once was. But there’s no need to go back and make them do what only God can do for us. The home is gone. The castle’s no longer there.
But God will always be there for us. He will be the castle. He will be our home.