What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.
That’s as poetic as Fiskal Policy will ever get but you will no doubt recognise the wordsmithery (especially if you did GCSE English Literature the same year I did) as being from the quill of William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet, rather than the laptop of FP.
It’s what I immediately thought of when the news broke earlier this week (probably last week by the time you read this) that Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn have a newborn baby and have decided to name her Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.
Yes, I’m as surprised as you are that I’m writing about Ed Sheeran.
If his music comes on while I’m in a shop I’ll put down whatever it is I was planning to buy and walk out the door – if they like Ed’s tunes then I don’t want to be associated with them nor wearing their clothes nor eating their food.
When Ed Sheeran headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2017 it was a particularly low point in the festival’s history. Not because he was too pop, because I have never been one of those people who say it should be more alternative – its’ fundamental beauty is the wealth of different genres across the stages.
No, because it showed how mediocrity in music is now winning and anyone with anything interesting to say doesn’t get a look in.
He’s so interesting that journalists write about his planning applications.
But, at the same time – although I dislike him for all the reasons above – over the years he has done some amazingly wonderful things for seriously ill young fans.
I hope one day he becomes as good on Twitter as James Blunt so he is almost likeable.
If you rewind to before the ranty bit, what you’ll remember is I wanted to discuss how people have reacted to the names he and his wife have given their child.
Her first name is Lyra – which means harp so it fits in with his musical success – and is also a character from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, which Ed Sheeran has said are some of his favourite books.
Reactions to this name showed off the best of the internet with people questioning ‘how can it be a unique name if it is taken from a book?’ without realising the headline of the story they are commenting on, along the lines of ‘Ed Sheeran reveals lovely unique name for his baby’, was written by a journalist, not the popstar.
Lyra is not the most common name by any means but, as far as I’m aware (and it’s not very far so am willing to stand corrected), Ed Sheeran has never said he thought it was unique.
The name which has brought with it much more speculation is Antarctica.
Why would Ed and Cherry decide to name their child after a sadly disappearing all too quickly frozen land?
Some news articles have said they went – what was thought to be – the Beckham route and named her after the place she was conceived (media reports suggest they went on holiday to Antarctica around nine months ago).
This makes me wonder whether celebrities ever think of how awful it will be when their offspring is at school or work and instead of being able to say ‘My middle name was my dad’s dad’s first name’ they have to say ‘My mum and dad had sex and thought I wanted a constant reminder of this every second of my life’.
So, to answer the original question ‘What’s in a name?’ it’s just another thing people like to use to criticise celebrities they don’t know, but think they do.
I’m painfully aware of the irony because I spent quite a bit of this criticising Ed Sheeran for his music, but in the words of the sadly departed Caroline Flack, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Stay safe for another week!