Music Tuesday – Once Soundtrack

I almost made it “Tuesday Tunes,” but that would’ve been stealing Jennifer‘s alliterative idea.

Once OSTThis week I’m sharing a couple of songs off the soundtrack to the movie Once. Sort of a movie-and-music-in-one post. Once is an Irish film about a Dublin man working in his dad’s vacuum repairshop by day but spends his nights performing as a street musician, hoping to eventually record a demo CD. He meets a Czech woman one night, and they become friends–turns out she’s also a musician and they team up to record the demo. It would be common for the film to turn into a romance at this point, but it doesn’t….really….and that’s actually incredibly refreshing. Once doesn’t follow any of the standard moviemaking formulas–there’s too much music, there’s no sex, there’s no great conflict–and yet it works tremendously well. It’s joyful, it’s fresh, it’s bittersweet, and I want to watch it again right now, but I can’t, because it’s still in its very successful under-the-radar long-running theatrical release (but not in Waco) and thus not on DVD yet. Seriously. I saw it the second week of August after it had already been playing for a few weeks, and it’s STILL playing in St. Louis (at Plaza Frontenac). So, yeah. Go see it.

But first listen to these songs from the soundtrack. The leads are Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who are both musicians in their own right. Really, watching the film feels like being given a very special glimpse into real people’s attempts to realize their dream–it’s not some sappy, inspirational thing, though. It’s very much just a snapshot of the few days when these two people met, recorded a CD, and that’s it. Simple. And simply wonderful. “Falling Slowly” is the first song they sing together in the film; he’s on guitar, she’s on piano, and he’s just taught it to her chord by chord. To give her a chance at the lead vocal, I’ve got “If You Want Me,” which within the story is a song for which he’s written the music, but has been unable to come up with lyrics. He gives her the music on a homemade CD and she writes the lyrics. And sings them, obviously.

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(As a postscript, never underestimate the fun of listening to someone speak English with an Irish/Czech accent. I mean, either accent is cool enough on its own, but both? Awesome.)