Ed Sheeran has delighted fans on his birthday by delivering a present to them in the shape of a brand new track.

How Would You Feel (Paean) is another classic ballad from Ed and is the third song to be unveiled from his much anticipated new album ÷ (Divide) which is out next month.

Describing the track as one of his favourites, Sheeran admitted he had to work fast to fit it into his upcoming album after discovering it hidden in his girlfriend's email inbox.

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Speaking about the track to Zane Lowe on Beats 1 he said: "My partner came back to Suffolk and on her way to the airport I wrote that song, recorded it on an iPhone, sent it to her and forgot about it."

When his ÷ (Divide) album was completed, he explained how he asked girlfriend Cherry Seaborn what her favourite track was and she said: "My favourite song you don't actually know exists."

After she played him the forgotten tune, he said: "I went in and recorded it very quickly and produced it all up and it's one of my favourite songs on the record."

÷ (Divide) will be released on Friday, March 3

A number of Irish record shops in Dublin, Cork and Galway will be open from Midnight Thursday, March 2, ahead of the official release date the following day. 

Tower Records in Dublin, Music Zone in Cork and OMG@Zhivago Galway will throw open their doors for a late night party to give fans the chance to be the first to get their hands on the new record.

Unlike Shape of You and Castle on the Hill, which went on to top the charts here and around the world, the new track isn't being released as a single.

Ed told fans on his Instagram account that How Would You Feel (Paean) is "not the next single, but is one of my favzzzzz".

The singer last performed at the Grammys on Sunday night last and will be back closer to home when he takes to the stage to sing at the BRITS next week.

Ed chats to Beyoncé at the Grammys

Thousands of Irish fans were recently left frustrated and disappointed after tickets for both of the singer's 3Arena gigs in April sold out in under five minutes.

Sheeran said he was "deeply concerned" after tickets appeared for sale at prices up to €1000 on secondary re-sale sites and he urged fans not to buy tickets at inflated prices.