"Visiting Hours" is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was released on 19 August 2021 as the first promotional single from his upcoming fifth studio album, =, the same day he announced the album. The song was produced by Sheeran and Johnny McDaid.
Background and release
On 2 March 2021, Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski passed away in his sleep at the age of 68. Sheeran first performed "Visiting Hours" at Gudinski's funeral on 24 March 2021 as a tribute to him in Australia, delivering an emotional performance. Gudinski's close friends and fellow musicians, Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes, also provide backing vocals on the song. He finished the song during his two weeks of mandatory quarantine because of COVID-19 rules due to his decision to travel to Australia. On 19 August 2021, Sheeran released the song as a promotional single and announced the album. A live performance video, which was filmed in St. Stephen's Church in Hampstead, London, was also released with the song. Sheeran stated that he "finished writing this song going through proper grief for the first time, and for me its one of the most important songs on =".
Lyrically, "Visiting Hours" is an ode to the late Michael Gudinski, an Australian music promoter. In the first verse, Sheeran makes a reference to his and his wife, Cherry Seaborn's daughter, Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran, wishing that Gudinski would have gotten to meet her: "I wish that Heaven had visiting hours / So I could just show up and bring the news / That she's getting older and I wish that you'd met her / The things that she'll learn from me, I got them all from you". File Hashes