Song of the Day #1,354: ‘Honest Mistake’ – Ron Sexsmith

Best Albums of the 90s – #18
Other Songs – Ron Sexsmith (1997)

Ron Sexsmith’s second studio album (and third album overall) was my first introduction to his work. I bought Other Songs after reading effusive praise by Elvis Costello and about 15 seconds into the first track I knew I’d found a new favorite.

Sexsmith would go on to record increasingly better produced records but the low-key, mostly acoustic Other Songs remains one of his very finest moments.

In all of his work, Sexsmith conveys honesty and gentleness — you can’t help but believe every word. His earnestness and lack of artifice is rare in popular music and probably one of the reasons he has failed to break through despite voluminous critical praise and the support of many of his contemporaries.

‘Honest Mistake’ is a great example of the good-heartedness on display in so many of Sexsmith’s songs. It’s almost Hallmark card simple in its message but his delivery (and sublime melody) give it weight.

Sometimes in anger we seem to forget
All the wrongs that have been done to us
We’ve done to others and regret
Pull back
You’ll see the picture that much clearer

Anyone, anyone can make an honest mistake
Anyone, anyone can make an honest mistake

To err is human and all you can do
Is to tell it to your wounded heart
Forgiveness is human too
Go back
Accept each other for who we are

Anyone, anyone can make an honest mistake
Anyone, anyone can make an honest mistake

Few can admit it when they’re wrong, I know
Few can forgive and then move on, I know it’s hard

An honest mistake
Anyone, anyone can make an honest mistake

Sometimes in anger we seem to forget
All the wrongs that have been to us
We’ve done to others and regret

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,354: ‘Honest Mistake’ – Ron Sexsmith

  1. Dana says:

    Well, there you go again beating us up with more Sexsmith:)

    I think that part of the problem with Sexsmith catching on to a larger audience is that the songs are just a bit too mellow, the voice a bit too sleepy. It is quite interesting to me that you connect so well with him while labeling someone like James Taylor boring. I think there is a lot of common ground in the honesty and earthiness of the songwriting in both cases. I guess some people, like Ron, just hit the sweet spot for you more than others.

  2. Amy says:

    And I guess that once you find “your” mellow, sleepy boring guy, you don’t need more than one 😉 There is something about the quality of his voice, almost as if he’s whining?, that I don’t like. The sound of the music is pleasant enough, but when I hear him sing, I have no desire to listen further. Fascinating how music can have such a different impact even on people who have so much in common.

  3. Clay says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for whiners. Rufus Wainwright, Belle and Sebastian, Sexsmith, Morrissey… love ’em all!

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