"The A Team" (CD Single) Music Poster Image

"The A Team" (CD Single)

Young Brit sensation sings heartfelt tune about addiction.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The song depicts in no uncertain terms the unpleasant realities of addiction and prostitution, but some kids and young teens might not understand the social criticism and could confuse the metaphors that give the song its message.

Positive role models

The subject of the song is a call girl who trades her body for drugs.

Not applicable

The lyrics are about prostitution. There are references to the girl in the song spending "long nights" with "strange men," she "sells love to another man," and she's a "call girl" with "no phone."  

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In describing the girl's drug dependency, words used include "grams," "pipe," a reference to being "covered in white." The music video includes a drug sale and paraphernalia, as well as a brief shot of the girl smoking crack cocaine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while "The A Team" sounds like just another catchy romantic pop song, it actually tells a story about the deplorable state of a young girl living on the streets, selling herself to feed her addiction to getting high. Because these are real-world problems, depending on the age and maturity of your kids, you may or may not want to expose them to such grave images, especially those shown in the music video.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Twenty-one-year-old British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran earned a "Song of the Year" Grammy nomination for this single from his debut album, entitled simply +. The song is about a girl struggling to survive on the streets. Though he's co-written songs for One Direction and Taylor Swift, his solo material is decidedly edgier and more about partying and excess.

Is it any good?


Sheeran has a great voice and the song is shiny and catchy, warm and intimate, inviting and haunting. Classic singer-songwriter-with-an-acoustic-guitar sound.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between using images of drugs and sexual exploitation to glorify or criticize certain lifestyles. What sort of impact do you think such imagery has on kids, many of whom worship pop stars?

  • Does the accompanying music video for "The A Team" (which has more than 50 million views on YouTube) do more to convey the song's message than just the track alone?

  • Why do you think more and more young singer-songwriters talk about drugs and sex so openly these days?

Music details

Artist:Ed Sheeran
Release date:June 13, 2012
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "The A Team" (CD Single) was written by

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Teen, 14 years old Written byMy1ten0baby February 3, 2014

Not For Preteens

The problem of this song is there is drugs all over the video so drug problem is 4/5.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byilovemaroon5 December 19, 2013

Interesting Meaning to the Song, but its Good Quality

Now surprisingly, this song is about drugs. Specifically about what they call the a class drugs. But before you just shut this song off, it isn't just about drugs. Ed sheeran, when he was 18 had a gig at a shelter. He heard all of these stories while he was there, so he decided to write a song about the stories he heard. Now, doesn't that change everything, again. Its actually a very high quality song. He, himself, wrote it. Its about life. Not something he did, but something he heard. The rhythm is very good and the lyrics sound very nice as well.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old November 23, 2013


It is a great song. It has some references, but they just go over younger kids heads. It can also teach older kids a good life lesson.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking