“South of the Border” by Ed Sheeran (ft. Camila Cabello & Cardi B)

“South of the Border” is centred on the theme of the primary artist (Ed Sheeran) apparently falling in love with a Latin female. And in the song, both Camila Cabello and Cardi B play the role of such a romantic interest.

The term “south of the border” specifically refers to Mexico but can also be applied to Latin America in general (i.e. “Buenos Aires”, the capital of Argentina, being mentioned in this song). And how the phrase is utilized in this track is seemingly as a call for Ed and the Latina he is involved with to love each other freely.

From Sheeran’s perspective, his fascination with her is largely physical, as in the singer being smitten by her beauty. Camila expresses a somewhat similar sentiment, twice mentioning her lover’s green eyes.  They both also mention dancing, though in varying capacities, as being part of their mutual attraction.

Meanwhile Cardi B seems to be more down with the idea of having a relationship with dude so long as he can satisfy her extremely-expensive tastes. She also accuses Ed of suffering from “jungle fever”, which basically means he, being Caucasian, has fallen in love with a non-White woman.

So in summation Ed Sheeran is letting it all hang out in his track, expressing an intimate desire for a Latina, with the Latina(s) also stating a similar sentiment. But that is just the theme of the song, not a reflection of their real lives per se. For instance, prior to the song’s release Ed got married to a fellow Briton, Cherry Seaborn. Moreover Camila Cabello states that the person she is singing to has “green eyes”, while Ed’s are actually blue. So more than anything, we can safely assume that this song represents an attempt by Sheeran to capitalize on the rising popularity of bilingual (as in Latin American influenced) music, as “South of the Border” even features a few lines uttered in Spanish.

Lyrics of "South of the Border"

Release Date of “South of the Border”

Asylum Records UK in partnership with Atlantic Records UK officially released “South of the Border” on 12 July 2019. It is one of the outstanding tracks from Sheeran’s album No. 6 Collaborations Project. Other notable tracks from this project include:

This is Sheeran’s first collabo with Cardi B and Cabello

“South of the Border” marks Ed Sheeran’s first collaboration with either Camila Cabello or Cardi B.  This also appears to be the first time the ladies have worked together.

Camila Cabello gave Ed Sheeran a big, notable shoutout when this song was released. And likewise Ed Sheeran has expressed appreciation for both Camila Cabello and Cardi B, also stating on 11 July 2019 that one of the main reasons he chose them for this song was because it “has a Latin flavor” (Camila and Cardi are respectively of Cuban and Dominican descent).

No Vulgar Language from Cardi B

Surprisingly enough, rapper Cardi B abstains from using any vulgar or offensive word throughout her verse. This is highly unusual of her! “South of the Border” is therefore possibly her first song not to contain any expletive language.

Writers and Producers of “South of the Border”

“South of the Border” was produced by Ed Sheeran along with Fred Gibson and Steve Mac. This same trio also co-wrote the song along with Pardison Fontaine, Cabello and Cardi.

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9 Responses

  1. Kallie says:

    I feel as if the blue eyed lover camilla’s referencing is Shawn Mendez because he has green eyes and they are in a relationship currently but that is just my thoughts…

  2. Ammy says:

    Pretty sure it’s also a veiled reference to going down on a woman.
    If you read Cardi B’s lyrics especially…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, while I agree with the article’s points emphasis on critical cultural issues. This song is a very intelligently crafted pun and plays on words, which the English are renowned for – i.e., their wit. He is using the urban reference for the term “south of the border,” and all the other supportive lyrics are veiled descriptions supporting the act. Making a romantic song with veiled lewd references is unbelievable! Praise it for what it is…I think most of the other interpretations noted in this article is… subjective at best.

  4. Yuvika says:

    Wait. They mentioned that Ed is Caucasian and Caucasians are North Americans. But isn’t Ed British?

  5. AASD says:

    Cardi B actually said MF at the end of the song

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