Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber
I Don’t Care
Get out of the way, all you other pesky songs: Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber have teamed up for “I Don’t Care.” And in one day this collaborative hit reached more than 10 million streams. It’s an infectious, thoughtful pop jam contending for song of the summer.
Focusing on recently married Sheeran and his bride (childhood friend, Cheery Seaborn), as well as Bieber and his new wife (Hailey Bieber), this song makes it clear that the best place for these husbands to be is with the women they love—especially when they’re feeling anxious.
Anywhere But Here …
Sheeran and Bieber have something in common: neither much likes social situations that could easily induce anxiety. That said, they’re OK as long as their wives are by their sides.
Sheeran begins simply, “I'm at a party I don't wanna be at,” perhaps in part because he’s apparently got to dress up (“And I don’t ever wear a suit and tie, yeah”). But while trying to find a way out (“Wonderin’ if I could sneak out the back/Nobody’s even lookin’ me in my eyes”), he realizes that he can make it through the formalities as long as his wife is nearby: “Can you take my hand?/Finish my drink, say, ‘Shall we dance?’ (H---, yeah).” Then he adds, “You know I love ya’, did I ever tell ya’?/You make it better like that.”
The thing is, some gatherings make him feel uneasy (“Don’t think I fit in at this party/Everyone’s got so much to say/I always feel like I’m nobody”). But being a part of “the crowd” isn’t as difficult if you’re with the one you love (“Who wants to fit in anyway?/ ‘Cause I don’t care when I’m with my baby, yeah/All the bad things disappear/And you’re making me feel like maybe I am somebody”).
Bieber echoes the same feelings as he opens up about his own people phobia. He says bluntly, “With all these people around/I’m crippled with anxiety.” The party he’s at is loud (“Tryna talk, but we can’t hear ourselves”), and he’s definitely got other ideas about what he’d rather be doing (“Read your lips, I’d rather kiss ‘em right back”). But just as Sheeran sang, Justin says that just being with Hailey makes it OK (“You know what? It’s kinda crazy ‘cause I really don’t mind/And you make it better like that”).
… As Long As I’m With You
For anyone who has ever wrestled with bouts of social anxiety, this song offers a positive solution: love and community.
There’s a lot of validity to what these two pop stars are saying. I’ve been to plenty of parties and social gatherings that I only attended because I felt I had to. And guess what? The only thing that made them bearable was being there with at least one person I knew and loved.
It’s refreshing to hear a song that doesn’t glorify partying. Instead, it encourages those who sometimes feel a bit fearful at social gatherings. “I Don’t Care” isn’t perfect: We hear the word “h---” and a reference to drinking. But in essence, it’s a love song that says any obstacle can be faced head on when those we love are at our side.