Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

It's May 1, so it's time to get this thing going. On the way to work this morning, I was listening to The Current which is actually an odd occurrence. I don't always like the music played during their morning show and usually opt to either plug in my iPod or put on the Oldies station. This morning though, as soon as I was about to change the station, Neko Case was on. Neko Case is also an exception to the rule for me because she's a self-described country performer (she doesn't like the term alt-country despite the fact that that's what she's often classified as). I'll probably get to her later in the month but today we're going to talk about Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

Starting off with this year's Oscar winner for Best Original Song may seem like an obvious choice but it won for a reason. I'm actually really bad at identifying songs I like by their opening notes. It's probably due to my fairly crappy hearing. Much like my eyesight is much worse than it should be due to all that reading by flashlight I used to do under the covers until two in the morning when I was only nine, my hearing is probably worse than it should be due to the number of hours I log with headphones on my ears. See above re: hatred of country music and then take into consideration that my freshman and sophomore year roommate listened almost exclusively to nothing else.

Despite my bad hearing (at age 24), I know this song instantly. It's really calming and I can kind of sing along to it and pretend I still know how to harmonize. It builds and it's gorgeous. It's simple with minimal amount of instrumentation. And if you don't find Hansard and Irglová absolutely charming then there's not much I can do for you.

If any of you didn't watch the Oscars, know that their winning this award was spectacular. They were mainly up against the Disney juggernaut, Enchanted, which fortunately seemed to have its vote split by having three songs nominated. The other song nominated probably didn't stand a chance, even if the little girl in it was as cute as a button (The Current morning show made me a bit folksy this morning). Hansard, in a nervous way, rambled off his acceptance speech and then Irglová stood up to the microphone to deliver her own only to be cut off before she could utter a word.

Nothing to worry about though, because my TV boyfriend Jon Stewart saved the day. I think the man has a soft spot for Best Original Song winners (he felt more people should celebrate their win like Three 6 Mafia did in 2006 for "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp"). After a commercial break, Stewart brought Irglová back on stage to properly accept her award. In a situation that was certainly daunting and in a language that is not native to her, she delivered the following:
Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.
And it was beautiful.

1 comment:

Isorski said...

Yep - gorgeous song! I caught the two Monday night in Portland. Posted a review at - and also some videos from the show. Check it out. You’ll have to scroll down a bit.