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Glen Hansard: The Best Songs Come 'As A Gift'

Glen Hansard began singing on the streets of Dublin when he was just 13. Now, in his early 40s, it's almost hard to count his honors. Once, the musical featuring his songs, just won eight Tony Awards. He's half of the duo The Swell Season, he appeared in The Commitments, he contributed to the soundtrack for The Hunger Games, and, next week, he releases his first solo album, Rhythm and Repose.

Speaking with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, Hansard says there are two ways a song can come to him — through hours of diligent work, or in a sudden and unexpected flash.

"Oftentimes — and the best times — it comes as a gift," Hansard says. "There are people who can sit down and write a song about any given subject, and they can do it really, really well. But I believe that's more craft-based, and I've always been more of a fan of those who work more in the inspired area — meaning that they sort of let it come and don't edit too much.

"What happens to us all, I think, when we pick up a pen, is that we just become snobs," he adds. "We want it to sound perfect, we want it to be poetic, we want it to have meter. And actually, most of the time, the good stuff just sort of falls out in a way that's very natural — even if, grammatically, it's incorrect."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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