Song of the Day #1,146: ‘Snow Angel’ – Ron Sexsmith

Best Songwriters – #8 – Ron Sexsmith

Ron Sexsmith’s presence here won’t come as a surprise to any of you who’ve watched me lavish praise on him over the course of ten Ron Sexsmith Weekends. In fact, the bigger surprise might be that he isn’t higher on the list.

Sexsmith is perhaps the finest melody-writer working in the business today. He doesn’t go in crazy new directions on each album; he doesn’t create cinematic landscapes through innovative production techniques; he doesn’t play fast and loose with shifting time signatures. He simply writes — with amazing consistency — some of the most sublime melodies I’ve ever heard.

And that is a gift that very few people have. Paul McCartney has it (had it?) but not as unfailingly as Sexsmith. It seems like Sexsmith has three ‘Blackbird’s on every album. He’s that good.

So why is he sitting at #8 and not in the top five? Well, as I said up front, these rankings are rather arbitrary. In the right mood, I could easily jump him a few spots. But I put him here mostly because I’m more inspired by his music than his lyrics.

‘Snow Angel’ is a typically lovely track from Sexsmith’s 2006 album, Time Being. I’ll let him set it up:

“That was me trying to write an Edgar Allan Poe style telltale heart song. I’ve done it in the past, with ‘From A Few Streets Over’ and ‘Parable,” these little dark cautionary tales. It is basically about a guy haunted by a guilty conscience and the appearance of this snow angel on his lawn every winter. It is about a love that went south or ended tragically.”

Strange how their love bloomed in the winter
Only to vanish in the spring
It never fails to make him shiver
To see the outline of her wings

Where she made her last snow angel
Little did they know
That it’d make a lasting impression
Deeper than the snow
In his soul
The snow angel never faded

And when love calls to make that promise
The one to be faithful and be true
It’s then temptation falls upon us
The world turns awkward and aloof

And with this betrayal
An angel descended from on high
Oh, but this was not a manger
And as he came inside
To his fright
T’was no angel hanging naked

Strange how each year ‘round late November
When the first snow is on the ground
She reappears so he’ll remember
How a love so young can be cut down

When she made her last snow angel
Little did they know
That it’d make a lasting impression
Deeper than the snow
In his soul
The snow angel never faded

In his soul
Snow angel never faded


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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,146: ‘Snow Angel’ – Ron Sexsmith

  1. Dana says:

    Here’s another one that, like Mann, may not end up on many top 10 songwriters of all time, but, as you noted, it would be shocking not to have Sexsmith on your list.

    While I made fun of you for the Sexsmith weekends, and other regular commenters simply boycotted during those weekends, there is little doubt that Sexsmith is a great singer-songwriter. He probably wouldn’t be on my top 10 list, but that may well be due to a lack of overall familiarity rather than any shortcoming on his part.

  2. pegclifton says:

    I think I’m more inspired by his lyrics; and I too can understand why you have him on your list.

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