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


Rapid Learners: How Pixar Animators Created A Very Scary River

What would a small dinosaur look like in Class V rapids? That's the question Pixar filmmakers had to answer for their film The Good Dinosaur. So they piled into a raft to figure it out for themselves.
WAMU 88.5

Recipes Get A Makeover With GIFs, Science, And Emojis

On Food Wednesday, we explore the new ways recipes are being presented, with everything from GIFs to scientific method.

WAMU 88.5

International Military Action In Syria

French President Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington to seek additional U.S. support in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and NATO holds an emergency meeting over the downed Russian fighter jet: An update on international military strategy in Syria.


Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

Leave a Comment

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