Filed Under:

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/.

NPR

For Penn & Teller's Magical Partnership, The Trick Is Telling The Truth

The duo Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller are back on Broadway. They both talk — yes, even Teller — with NPR's Scott Simon about magic, danger and the remarkable endurance of their 40-year partnership.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

My Cat Xavier For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow superPAC backed Hank the Cat in the 2012 Virginia Senate election. Xavier also cared about naps, treats, and prison reform.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.