Song of the Day #1,059: ‘Dragonfly on Bay Street’ – Ron Sexsmith

I featured ‘These Days’ yesterday to ease into the more involved production of Cobblestone Runway. Today’s song shows the extent to which Sexsmith fiddled around in the studio on this record.

‘Dragonfly On Bay Street’ features a disco backing track and synthesized robotic sound effects… it’s the closest Sexsmith will probably ever come to the dance floor. But this tale of a man lost in life who draws momentary inspiration from an insect trapped in the city still feels like a Sexsmith song, just in fancier clothing.

Cobblestone Runway proved a bit polarizing for fans. Some called it a sell-out or an experiment gone too far, while others found it his most mature and fully-realized work yet. I fall somewhere in between. I generally prefer the more subtle production of Blue Boy or more recent albums, but I really love what he did here.

Used to work as a messenger
Spent my days riding elevators
In the heart of the business world
Till one day there came a sign
In the form of a
Dragonfly on Bay Street

Buzzin’ round from tower to tower
At the twilight of the working hour
Had he taken a wrong turn?
Was he lost without a trace?
Just like us?
Dragonfly on Bay Street

In the crowd without a face
Dragonfly on Bay Street

No fields for miles around
As through the underground I go
What was it telling me?
It’s better to be free?
Or maybe nothing at all…

Now I work in another field
Spend my time keeping my eyes peeled
For a sign that’ll lead me home
Cause Lord I feel so out of place
Just like that
Dragonfly on Bay Street

I’m lost without a trace
Dragonfly on Bay Street

In the crowd without a face
Dragonfly on Bay Street

It’s all or nothing at all

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,059: ‘Dragonfly on Bay Street’ – Ron Sexsmith

  1. Dana says:

    This doesn’t work for me at all. His voice sounds completely wrong for the produced disco sound.

  2. Clay says:

    I disagree. I think the juxtaposition of his voice with this production is strangely effective. I wouldn’t want to hear a whole album in this style but as an experimental change-of-pace track, I think it works.

  3. Dana says:

    No, it doesn’t:)

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