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Glen Hansard: Musical Comfort In A Troubled Home

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All summer long, All Things Considered has been talking to politicians, musicians and others about one song they remember their parents listening to, and how it influenced them.

Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard says he remembers his mother listening — and singing along — to Pat Boone's "Speedy Gonzalez" while cleaning the house. But, he says, neither the song nor his mother were as lighthearted as they seemed.

"It's the classic, 'Hey, come home, quit drinking' — because that's really where my mother's cleaning really stemmed from," Hansard tells NPR's Melissa Block. "It was always after a bout of, you know, my dad coming home late and them having some kind of words, that Mother would get straight into cleaning the house."

Hansard says his mother's escapes into Pat Boone and vacuuming taught him the power of music to ease anxiety.

"She used music in the way that I imagine I approach music, which is, it's a healing thing," he says. "Music will always be salve for the soul."

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