Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn’s baby’s name is a little bit icy

Or #ThinkingOutLoud

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.

I’m not an Ed Sheeran fan so am using pictures of Antarctica instead of him for this episode of Fiskal Policy. These are Chinstrap Penguins ( “Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica)” by David Cook Wildlife Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 )
Antarctica -20 by Trey Ratcliff
I get cold waiting for the bus so I’m not sure Antarctica is top on my list of places to visit ( “Antarctica – 20” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )
Layers of Ice and Water by Trey Ratcliff
Why would Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn decide to name their child after a sadly disappearing all too quickly frozen land? ( “Layers of Ice and Water in Antarctica” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

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 like George Ezra in that respect, and Tom Odell. They’ll play any tune you want in the key of bland.

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.

Camp Antarctica - Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com
The living conditions in Antarctica are very different from the ones Ed Sheeran is used to when he is in England – it’s almost as if the places are very different landscapes! ( “Camp Antarctica” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 – Copyright Trey Ratcliff http://www.StuckInCustoms.com )
Dry Valleys of Antarctica by Trey Ratcliff
Media reports suggest Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn’s baby was conceived during a visit to Antarctica ( “Dry Valleys of Antarctica” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )
Penguin in Antarctica jumping out of the water by Christopher Michel
This penguin looks like it is having an amazing time ( “File:Penguin in Antarctica jumping out of the water.jpg” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0 )
Rally to restore sanity by Sandwich Girl
This photo is titled ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ and I’m not sure why – but I’d love to find out ( “rally to restore sanity, antarctica” by sandwichgirl is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )

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).

Royal Marines Exploring Ice Crevasses in Antarctica
Climbing through mysterious ice chambers, these figures are Royal Marines exploring the stunning beauty of Antarctica ( Photographer: Arron Hoare – “Royal Marines Exploring Ice Crevasses in Antarctica” by Defence Images is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 )
Watching the Big Lebowski by Trey Ratcliff
Not many people can say they watched The Big Lebowski during a trip to Antarctica. Photographer Trey Ratcliff can
( “Watching The Big Lebowski In Antarctica” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )
HMS Protector’s usual task during the Antarctic summer is to patrol and survey the Antarctic and South Atlantic ( Photographer: Jay Allen “HMS Protector visits Port Lockroy,Antarctica” by Royal Navy Media Archive is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 )
HMS Protector at Sunset in Antarctica
HMS Protector at Sunset in Antarctica ( Photographer: Vicki Benwell – “HMS Protector at Sunset in Antarctica.” by Royal Navy Media Archive is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 )

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’.

Imagine what would happen if this naming convention became much more common and middle names like Travelodge or Pratts Bottom started creeping in, or even ‘Behind the Bins’.

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!