Glen Hansard

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Glen Hansard
Hansard in 2015
Glen James Hansard

(1970-04-21) 21 April 1970 (age 54)
Ballymun, Dublin, Ireland
  • Singer-songwriter
  • musician
Maire Saaritsa
(m. 2022)
PartnerMarkéta Irglová (2006–2009)
Musical career
Years active1990–present
Formerly of
Hansard and Markéta Irglová playing at Cool Discs record store, Derry, Northern Ireland, April 2006

Glen James Hansard (born 21 April 1970)[1] is an Irish singer-songwriter and musician. Since 1990, he has been the frontman of the Irish rock band The Frames, with whom he has released six studio albums, four of which have charted in the top ten of the Irish Album Charts. In the 2000s, he was one half of folk rock duo The Swell Season before releasing his debut solo album, Rhythm and Repose, in 2012. His 2015 second album Didn't He Ramble was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album.

Primarily a musician, he has also acted and written music for film; he appeared in the BAFTA-winning film The Commitments (1991) and starred in the Irish music drama Once (2007) which earned him a number of major awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly" with co-writer and co-star Markéta Irglová. The film was later adapted into a musical theatre production.


Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local Dublin streets.[2] He formed his own band The Frames in 1990, and the group have been gigging regularly in Ireland since. Hansard came to international attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the 1991 Alan Parker film The Commitments. He has often stated that he regretted taking the role because he felt it distracted him from his music career.[citation needed] In 2003, he presented the television programme Other Voices: Songs from a Room, which showcased Irish music talent on RTÉ.[3]

On 22 April 2006, he released his first album without The Frames, The Swell Season, on Overcoat Recordings in collaboration with Czech singer and multi-instrumentalist Markéta Irglová, Marja Tuhkanen from Finland on violin and viola, and Bertrand Galen from France on cello. Hansard also spent part of 2006 in front of the cameras for the music-infused Irish film Once, in which Hansard plays a Dublin busker, and Irglová an immigrant street vendor. The film had its United States premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and received the Festival's World Cinema Audience Award.

Hansard had recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" for the film I'm Not There in 2007. In 2009, Hansard said that he and Irglova were no longer romantically linked, and that they are now "good friends".[4]

Aside from his projects with The Frames and Irglová, Hansard also took part as a member of the band on the 2006 Oxfam charity album, The Cake Sale. Hansard has recorded several cover songs, both alone and with band member Colm Mac Con Iomaire, for the Today FM discs Even Better than the Real Thing. Songs that he has recorded include Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" on Even Better than the Real Thing Vol. 1 and Britney Spears' "Everytime" on Vol. 2.[citation needed]

He voiced a role on an episode ("In the Name of the Grandfather") on The Simpsons as an Irish busker.[5] A new album of original songs recorded as The Swell Season with Markéta Irglová and entitled Strict Joy was released on 27 October 2009 on the ANTI- record label.[6]

Glen Hansard, live at Vicar Street, Dublin, 31 December 2006

In the summer of 2011, he joined Eddie Vedder on his American solo tour in support of Vedder's solo album, Ukulele Songs. He played a solo concert at the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Guitar Heroes exhibit in New York City in May 2011[7] and on Cape Cod at the Cape Cinema on 17 June.[8]

In September 2011, he played at Pearl Jam's 20th Anniversary Festival PJ20 at the Alpine Valley Theatre outside of East Troy, Wisconsin. Hansard plays several guitars, including a very recognisable battered Takamine NP15 acoustic guitar (even sporting a large hole), which he calls "The Horse".[9]

In a November 2011 interview[10] in The Huffington Post with Irglova, it was revealed that Hansard was preparing a solo album and that there was a very possible third release from The Swell Season. This solo album was later revealed to be titled Rhythm and Repose.[11]

American Songwriter included Hansard's "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" on its The Muse July Sampler.[12] Another song of his featured in a film soundtrack is This Gift, which appears in The Odd Life of Timothy Green.[13]

Hansard sang the song "Take the Heartland" on the soundtrack for the 2012 film The Hunger Games. Another song he wrote, "Come Away to the Water", is featured on the soundtrack, but is covered by Maroon 5 and Rozzi Crane.[citation needed] Hansard can be found singing "Come Away to the Water" on the deluxe edition of his first solo album Rhythm and Repose. He guest-starred in an episode of the TV series, Parenthood, playing himself. In the episode, "Trouble in Candyland", he performed "High Hope", a single from his solo debut album Rhythm and Repose.[14] In 2015, Hansard and Lisa Hannigan recorded a song, "On Love", for the soundtrack for the 2014 film Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.[15] Hansard sang Coyote at the Joni Mitchell 75th birthday concert Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration in Los Angeles in December 2018.

In 2022, he toured with Eddie Vedder.[16] In October he recorded "Take Heart", featuring Marketa Irglova, Bono and Ukrainian refugees in response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine,.[17]

In December 2023, Hansard performed a rendition of "Fairytale of New York" alongside Lisa O'Neill backed by The Pogues at Shane MacGowan's funeral service held in St Mary's of the Rosary Catholic Church, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland. They sang the roles of the 1987 original hit recording by MacGowan and the late Kirsty MacColl.[18][19]


Hansard has remarked about his musical influences: "In my house, when I was a kid, there was the holy trinity, which was Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan with Bob sitting centre."[20] Hansard and The Frames toured as the support act for Bob Dylan in Australia and New Zealand in August 2007 and Hansard often performs Van Morrison's songs in concert. Two such songs include "Into the Mystic", and "And the Healing Has Begun" which were included on the collector's edition of the soundtrack for the film Once.

Hansard is a devotee of Krishna and performed for the 80th birthday of Swami Prabhupada in London, staying at a manor donated to the Hare Krishna movement by The Beatles' George Harrison, who was a Hare Krishna devotee.[21] In July 2013, he sang with Bruce Springsteen at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, Ireland. In July 2015, he performed "Raglan Road" with Ed Sheeran in Croke Park, Dublin.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

During the promotional tour for Once, Hansard and Irglová began dating.[22] Said Hansard about his relationship with Irglova: "I had been falling in love with her for a long time, but I kept telling myself she's just a kid".[23] The relationship ended after two years.[24]

In 2008, Hansard took a four-week filmmaking workshop at the New York Film Academy.[25]

Hansard used to live at 21 Bleecker Street in Noho, New York City.[26]

In 2016, Hansard was a member of the Home Sweet Home Group, a coalition of activists and homeless.[27] The group broke into Apollo House in Dublin and illegally occupied it.[28] They eventually had to vacate the premises due to trespassing.[29]

His partner, poet Maire Saaritsa, gave birth to their first child, a boy named Christy, in October 2022. Hansard and Saaritsa planned to marry at the end of 2022.[30] The couple currently[when?] reside in Helsinki.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Selected awards
Year Ceremony Category Work Result Notes
2007 80th Academy Awards Best Original Song "Falling Slowly" from Once Won With Markéta Irglová
4th Irish Film & Television Awards Best Music in Film Once Nominated
Satellite Awards Satellite Awards "If You Want Me" from Once Nominated
2008 50th Grammy Awards Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Once Nominated
Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media "Falling Slowly" from Once Nominated
2013 55th Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album Once (musical) Won
2016 58th Grammy Awards Best Folk Album Didn't He Ramble Nominated
2021 12th Hollywood Music in Media Awards Original Song – Onscreen Performance "Whenever I Fall" from Cyrano Nominated With Sam Amidon & Scott Folan
Original Song – Feature Film "My Father's Daughter" from Flag Day Nominated With Eddie Vedder
2022 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Best Song Written and/or Recorded for Television Nominated




List of albums, with selected chart positions and sales
Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
Rhythm and Repose
  • Release date: 19 June 2012
  • Label: Anti-
3 21 111 71 37 40 133 21
Didn't He Ramble
  • Release date: 18 September 2015
  • Label: Anti-
3 24 42 47 14 31 144 92
Between Two Shores
  • Release date: 19 January 2018[40]
  • Label: Anti-
20 10 18 16 30 19
This Wild Willing
  • Release date: 12 April 2019
  • Label: Anti-
23 47 45 27 30 27
All That Was East Is West of Me Now
  • Release date: 20 October 2023
  • Label: Anti-
46 168 52 59

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • This Gift (2012) (promo)
  • High Hope (2012) (promo)
  • Bird of Sorrow (2012) (promo)
  • Love Don't Leave Me Waiting (2012) (promo)
  • Drive All Night EP (November 2013)
  • It Was Triumph We Once Proposed...Songs of Jason Molina EP (17 March 2015)
  • Winning Streak (30 June 2015)
  • Lowly Deserter (November 2015) – (Sky Stone & Records)
  • A Season on the Line EP (February 2016)
  • Cold Comfort (June 2020)

The Frames[edit]

The Swell Season[edit]

Films and television[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Glen Hansard". IMDb profile. IMDb. 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  2. ^ Divola, Barry (29 August 2007). "'Once' in a Lifetime". Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  3. ^ "New Irish music series hits N2". RTÉ.ie. RTÉ. 20 February 2003.
  4. ^ Master of excellence (26 January 2009). "falling slowly ... out of love". Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  5. ^ Sosa, Ralph; Anderson, Mike B. (17 March 2009), In the Name of the Grandfather (Animation, Comedy), Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Gracie Films, 20th Century Fox Television, retrieved 18 January 2021
  6. ^ Young, Alex (10 July 2009). "The Swell Season shares a bit of Strict Joy". Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Glen Hansard and Guitar Heroes". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. May 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  8. ^ "An Evening with Glen Hansard". Cape Cod Today. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  9. ^ "The Horse". Takamine Guitars. Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  10. ^ Ragogna, Mike (23 December 2011). "A Pomegranate & Billy Jack: Conversations with Once's Marketa Irglova and honeyhoney". Huffington Post.
  11. ^ "Folk Pop Music – Glen Hansard Announces Solo Debut, Rhythm..." Facebook. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Free Download: The Muse July Sampler". American Songwriter. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  13. ^ The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012) – IMDb, retrieved 18 January 2021
  14. ^ "Glen Hansard to guest star on Parenthood tonight". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  15. ^ "'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Soundtrack Released". Film Music Reporter. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Eddie Vedder announces 2022 US tour w/ Glen Hansard". December 2021.
  17. ^ "Glen Hansard unites with Markéta Irglová and Ukrainian refugees on new song "Take Heart"". The Line of Best Fit.
  18. ^ 'Fairytale of New York' played at Shane MacGowan's funeral. RTÉ.ie. RTÉ. 8 December 2023. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  19. ^ Shane MacGowan funeral: Johnny Depp and Bob Geldof among star-studded congregation The Telegraph, 8 December 2023. Retrieved 8 December 2023
  20. ^ "Dylan support slot a dream come true". 15 July 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  21. ^ ""Once" star becomes a Hare Krishna". April 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  22. ^ Jamie Diamond (24 February 2008). "Life imitating art". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2008.
  23. ^ Spines, Christine (22 June 2007). "'Once' a Hero". Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  24. ^ "The Hot Seat: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová". 26 July 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  25. ^ "Academy Award Winning New York Film Academy". 9 June 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  26. ^ Thompson, Stephen (17 January 2018). "For His 'Roll On Slow' Video, Glen Hansard's New York All-Nighter Gets Animated". NPR.
  27. ^ "Home Sweet Home co-founder has multiple convictions for robbery, kidnap and aggravated burglary" (7 January 2017). Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Occupy Nama: City property taken over to house homeless". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Home Sweet Home ordered to vacate Apollo House next month". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  30. ^ Costigan, Emma (16 December 2022). "Glen Hansard reveals he's set to tie-the-knot in two weeks". Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  31. ^ "Discography Glen Hansard". Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Discography Glen Hansard". austriancharts. Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Discography Glen Hansard". Ultratop.
  34. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". GfK Entertainment (in German). Search for Glen Hansard
  35. ^ "Discography Glen Hansard". Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  36. ^ "Discography Glen Hansard".
  37. ^ Peaks in the UK:
  38. ^ "Glen Hansard Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard.
  39. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015.
  40. ^ "Between Two Shores by Glen Hansard on Apple Music". iTunes Store (AU). 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  41. ^ ""The Simpsons" In the Name of the Grandfather". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  42. ^ "Parenthood: Season 4, Episode 10 : Trouble in Candyland (3 December 2012)". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  43. ^ "ONCE Composer Glen Hansard to Perform on LIVE ON LETTERMAN CONCERT Webcast, 12/12". Broadwayworld. Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  44. ^ "Guests Announced for ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!,' Oct. 4-6". Pressparty. Retrieved 5 October 2023.

External links[edit]