"But I'm sorry to all the people that want it to be about someone," the singer says

By Nick Maslow
Updated October 05, 2016 06:19 PM
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Danny Martindale/Wireimage; Isaiah Trickey/Filmmagic

Ellie Goulding doesn’t want the meaning of her new single to get twisted.

Before British pop singer, 28, released “On My Mind” on Thursday, she squashed the inevitable speculation that the song is about rumored former flame Ed Sheeran.

“It’s fun to do that. I would do the same,” Goulding said in an interview with MTV News. “But I’m sorry to all the people that want it to be about someone – it’s not, it’s like a myth. There’s no one to think about. It’s just a fun song.”

Given the lyrics about an inked man who fell for her (“You wanted my heart but I just liked your tattoos”), fans might question whether she’s singing about Sheeran. After all, here’s a guy who has a lion tattoo on his chest.

However, Goulding has a simple explanation: “I like tattoos,” she said. “I’ve got a couple myself.”

There’s also the part about staying with a man who tried to stir up envy.

“Thought that you were cute and you could make me jealous,” she sings. “Pour it down, so I poured it down. Next thing that I know, I’m in a hotel with you.”

The lines might be taken as a response to Sheeran’s song “Don’t,” which tells the story of a woman who ends up sleeping with someone else while they’re staying in a hotel together.

“But you didn’t need to to take him to bed, that’s all,” Ed croons in his 2014 hit. “And I never saw him as a threat until you disappeared with him to have sex, of course.”

Sheeran was asked if the song was inspired by Goulding and One Direction‘s Niall Horan during an interview on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM Radio show last November, but the singer-songwriter did not confirm the rumor.

For her part, Goulding went on the record in an interview for ELLE UK‘s July issue, saying, “I did go on a few dates with Niall, but I was never in a relationship with Ed.”

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Despite all the coincidences, Goulding maintains that her Max Martin-produced song – the first single from her third album, Delirium, out Nov. 6 – isn’t solely inspired by her life.

“I probably walked into the studio and I was like, ‘I’ve got this person on my mind,’ and then another writer goes, ‘I’ve got this person on my mind – it’s so annoying,’ and so we kind of formed the song out of all our different experiences,” Goulding, who’s currently dating Dougie Poynter, said. “That’s the beauty of song writing; there’s no rules. It doesn’t have to be about one person. It doesn’t have to be about one subject.”