Raise Your Hopeful Voice – the Enduring Delights of ‘Once’

The Oscar-winning writers and singer of “Falling Slowly” are still making wonderful music.

Inspired by an intimate, wonderful performance last night by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the two stars of “Once” who also record under the name the Swell Season, I feel inclined to share a video of the song whose Academy Awards win has to rank as my favorite of the past several years.


“Falling Slowly,” from “Once” (Fox Searchlight)



Hansard and Irglova performed on Sunday night in a dramatic little hall on the grounds of the Hollywood Forever cemetery behind Paramount Studios; they played beneath posters of “The Long Goodbye” and “The Last Picture Show” and “Harold and Maude,” with no stage lights, a untuned piano and a repertoire full of brand new songs. Along with the new material were a few old standbys, including “Falling Slowly,” the song Hansard described as a problem child who made good and won an Academy Award.


They were funny and touching and magical. They have a new Swell Season album coming out soon. I suggest you buy it.


(They also made pretty terrific acceptance speeches at the Oscars, which you can see here.)