Ron Sexsmith - "Maybe this Christmas"
Ronald Eldon "Ron" Sexsmith is a Canadian singer-songwriter from St. Catharines, Ontario. He was the songwriter of the year at the 2002 Juno Awards. He began releasing recordings of his own melancholic pop material in 1985 at age 21, and has since recorded fifteen albums. He was the subject of a 2010 documentary called Love Shines.
His first five albums are generally melancholic pop folk with elegant melodies, accentuated use of guitars and economic application of other instruments. On his sixth album, Cobblestone Runway, producer Martin Terefe supplemented this style with, among other things, synthesizers, back-up singers, gospel choirs, and string sections. Long Player Late Bloomer is considered his most pop-influenced album, which also happens to be his most commercially successful. His two latest albums, Carousel One and The Last Rider are more rock and roll albums that take Sexsmith back to the music of his childhood.
As well as being a critically acclaimed songwriter and musician, Sexsmith has a healthy group of world class musicians who appreciate his work including Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Chris Martin, Elton John, Ray Davies, Steve Earle, Bob Rock, and Sheryl Crow.
Sexsmith's songs have been performed and recorded by a number of well-known musicians, including Elvis Costello, Feist, Rod Stewart, Emmylou Harris His song "Secret Heart" has been covered by Rod Stewart, Feist, and Nick Lowe. Sexsmith co-wrote "Brandy Alexander" with Feist—versions appear on Sexsmith's Exit Strategy of the Soul, and on Feist's album The Reminder. A version of Sexsmith's "Whatever It Takes" appeared on Michael Bublé's 2009 album Crazy Love.
In 2004, fellow Canadian singer-songwriter k.d. lang covered Sexsmith's song "Fallen" on her album Hymns of the 49th Parallel. He also wrote the title song of Emmylou Harris' 2011 album, Hard Bargain. In 2012 his song "Gold in them Hills" was included on Katie Melua's album Secret Symphony, and was also covered by Chris Martin of Coldplay.
His style is often sad and frequently nihilistic, but this little ditty is less than 2 minutes’ worth of holiday hope. Now maybe that’s all that this somber songwriter has in him, but maybe it was a conscious decision to leave the audience wanting more … hoping for more, and thus creating more hope.
The song sings about the possibilities of what a holiday can mean, what new things can happen if we allow ourselves to not only honor tradition but also to let tradition grow. I love the idea of new holiday songs coming out, because though we all love the classics, it seems like we’re just hearing different versions of the same 10 songs for a month. This was a breath of fresh air during a month when holding too tightly to warm memories can stifle the bursts of growth that can come from the crisp clean winter air.
So today, with my heart wearing bands of gold, I choose Ron Sexsmith’s "Maybe this Christmas" as my, each small miracle, one single star in the darkness, hope like a candle flame, song for an, you are not alone, believe that change is possible, kindle the spirit that starts in your heart, Wednesday.