Two songs I am considering for this Podcast Anthem assignment are “Preach” by John Legend and “Eraser” by Ed Sheeran. 

I stumbled upon “Preach” while researching songs to include in my playlist for the Day of Dialogue, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since.  This song depicts quite literally the thoughts that take up the space in my brain on a daily basis, and that is the saving/healing power of music.  The song itself opens with Legend talking about how hard it is to wake up in the morning knowing that when we  turn on the news we will be bombarded with terrible stories and sad happenings. I, personally, have had to stop watching the news because of how hopeless it makes me feel.  I find other ways to keep informed of the news, but I find that i can no longer turn on the radio or TV and still be able to have a good day after listening to the current events happening around me. The riots, the protest, the killing of innocents, and more is enough to make me feel hopeless and hurt, as Legend sings about in this song.

Legend sings, “I can’t just preach” – he knows that no matter what he says or how many impactful songs he puts out, hatred and violence will still occur. I feel like the song itself is perhaps less of a call to action than it is a song of solidarity – Legend, despite seemingly “having it all” and living a charmed life, is still hurting the way everyday people are. He is still burdened by current events and the news, and he doesn’t pretend that it doesn’t all bother him, rather, he acknowledges his feelings and even attempts to somewhat process them.  I think this song is a work of both lyrical and artistic genius – the way Legend so masterfully can weave deep meaning and emotion into a hit melody while still being able to appeal to the masses is so admirable.

Researching this song will likely be somewhat challenging since it was only released about two years ago, but I think there could also be a wealth of information on the song since John Legend is so well-known and has a few other popular, impactful songs. I also would like to research more about how, perhaps, John Legend’s own upbringing and identity contributed to the way he views the news and writes his music. As a person of color, John Legend is even more influential today than ever considering the racial inequalities/injustices taking place in the United States.  John Legend is never one of those artists to violently express their beliefs or make a lot of “noise” in the industry, yet the songs he puts out (such as this) makes it impossible for us to leave him out of this narrative.


Picking “Eraser” as my other proposed song may seem like an odd choice to those who know the song, but hear me out.  The whole point of the lyrics in this song is to describe how sometimes you can find power in yourself even when the world seems like it’s completely against you.  It’s about finding hope in moments that seem hopeless, and practicing what you preach.  Sheeran sings about finding “comfort in my pain” numerous times, and the metaphor of an eraser itself, as literally having to erase the pain and suffering he feels sometimes, is so powerful.  For these reasons, the song is an important one to me and one I would be interested in exploring further.

I think “Eraser” means different things to each listener, and that is the beauty of its lyrics and composition. In terms of this class, I really find that Sheeran’s message of having to find comfort in pain can apply to many of the marginalized  groups of people we have discussed in this class as well as everyone else. I mean, after listening to this song after the year that was 2020, I have never felt more connected to the lyrics. I feel like sometimes there is no way out of the horrors of the world, and I just need to keep moving forward each day and erase the pain so I can make it through. While Sheeran clearly wrote this song based on his own life experiences and his career, the message is still impactful and relatable.

Toward the end of the song, Sheeran sings: 

“And to the next generation, Inspiration’s allowed

The world may be filled with hate, but keep erasing it now.”


I think these lyrics sum up the main message of the song perfectly, and is fitting for the times we are living in. Our world is filled with so much increasing hate and violence, and it is our job as the upcoming generation to change that and sort of “erase” the hate of the world.  I don’t necessarily mean erasing the history of what is happening around us, rather, erasing the hateful/racist/sexist narratives that make up our current world.

In terms of research, I think this song will be tricky to navigate but worth the extra work. While I am not sure there has been a ton of analysis conducted about this song, I know there have been many other Sheeran songs that have been looked at and that might also help guide my background research. I am a little concerned about finding enough research content about the song, but I look forward to the challenge and think I could bring a new perspective to the lyrics if given the opportunity.