Speaking with CBC Music
, Sexsmith said this was a "sort of an accidental song." He explained: "My wife and I went to a friend's cottage, and I'm not really an outdoors person. It was fine and everything, but I was a little bit bored. I brought my guitar and I started singing this song with the phrase 'lonely avenue,' but I thought there is already a song called 'Lonely Avenue' that Doc Pomus wrote. But it sounded good, so I fiddled around with it and came up with 'If Only Avenue,' and all of a sudden the light bulb came on over my head and I just started writing, again, a song about regret and things that you can't see except in hindsight. I was just happy to be able to quote 'Heartbreak Hotel
' in the last verse. It's always fun when you get to do that."
Sexsmith is correct in his recollection. The Doc Pomus penned song "Lonely Avenue" was a rhythm and blues hit for Ray Charles in 1956.