2. "The A Team"
Sheeran wrote this gently rolling ballad after visiting a temporary homeless shelter in East London to play some music. One resident named Angel was the space's de facto ruler; signs spelling out "Angel's Rules" were posted all over the building, and a volunteer pointed out that Angel was, in fact, pretty unruly until she was put in charge. When Sheeran came in to play, he was subject to her law as well: "She was actually a big Guns N' Roses fan and made me play 'Sweet Child O'Mine' six times," he told the San Francisco radio station KLLC in 2012. "I had a chat with her and a sit-down. ... I was 18 at the time. Lived away from home for about two years, but I had never seen the dark underbelly of London. It was a bit of a wake-up call. I wrote this song for Angel."