Song of the Day #1,024: ‘Secret Heart’ – Ron Sexsmith

I’m sticking with Ron Sexsmith’s appearance on Elvis Costello’s Spectacle for my second selection this weekend.

Today’s track is the first song on Sexsmith’s self-titled 1995 major label debut. ‘Secret Heart’ is a simple, lovely ballad about unrequited love. It has been covered by Rod Stewart and Feist, among others.

This half-circle of songwriters with guitars on Spectacle intrigues me. Sheryl Crow, Jesse Winchester, Neko Case, Costello and Sexsmith took turns playing their own songs and each other’s while the rest of the group (and the audience) quietly watched.

It must feel weird to play a song in front of a group of fellow musicians, including ones you’ve publicly admired as influences. That’s got to be more nerve-wracking than playing in front of an audience. There’s a certain DNA common to performers that lets them do this sort of thing.

Secret heart
What are you made of?
What are you so afraid of?
Could it be three simple words
Or the fear of being overheard?
What’s wrong?
Let her in on your secret heart

Secret heart
Why so mysterious?
Why so secret, why so serious?
Maybe you’re just acting tough
Maybe you’re just not man enough
What’s wrong?
Let her in on your secret heart

The very secret you’re trying to conceal
Is the very same one you’re dying to reveal
Go tell her how you feel

Secret heart,
Come out and share it
This loneliness, few can bear it
Could it have something to do with
Admitting that you just can’t go through it alone?
Let her in on your secret heart


4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,024: ‘Secret Heart’ – Ron Sexsmith

  1. Dana says:

    I was lying in bed on this lazy Sunday morning, when, suddenly, I remembered that it was a Ron Sexsmith weekend. I popped right up and ran to the computer to pull up the SOTD:)

    Okay, enough teasing….

    Very nice song.

    I’m now off to go swimming….

  2. pegclifton says:

    I must admit that I’ve never heard of this singer. I do like his voice though and I see that there is a recent documentary film about him and that he was inspired by Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello. The film is called Love Shines, but I’m sure you have read about it already.

  3. Amy says:

    Today’s (reader weekend) SOTD is “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen:

    I think this was the first time I realized that a song on a film’s sountrack could be an artistic expression independent from the film while adding immeasurably to the film. It seems fitting that Springsteen was responsible for that education.

    Music was used powerfully throughout this film, so I was thrilled when Springsteen was not only nominated for but won the Best Original Song Oscar. I’ve expected great things from songs recorded specifically for films ever since. They rarely deliver, but every once in a while they do.

  4. Clay says:

    You’re killing me here. Let me use these on regular days.

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