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

A Compelling Plot Gives Way To Farce In Franzen's Purity

The new novel reveals sharp observations and a great, sprawling story. But critic Roxane Gay says the book gets bogged down with absurdly-drawn characters and misfired critiques of modern life.
NPR

Huge Fish Farm Planned Near San Diego Aims To Fix Seafood Imbalance

The aquaculture project would be the same size as New York's Central Park and produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass each year. But some people see it as an aquatic "factory farm."
WAMU 88.5

Europe's Ongoing Migrant And Refugee Crisis And The Future Of Open Borders

The Austria-Hungary border has become the latest pressure point in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. An update on the huge influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa and the future of open borders within the E.U.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How to Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says the traffic in the U.S. is the worst it has been in years. Yet, some urban transportation experts say there's reason to be optimistic. They point to revitalized city centers, emerging technology and the investment in alternative methods of transportation. A conversation about how we get around today, and might get around tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

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