Song of Good Hope

Song of Good Hope

Fifteen years ago, in my first week of university, a girl pushed a CD into my hands and said “You HAVE to listen to these guys.” The band was The Frames and ever since that moment, I have been doing the same, pushing their CDs into the hands and hearts of everyone who crosses my path. This November Glen Hansard will play a sold out concert in De Roma in Antwerp. So here I am pushing his music into your hands. Luckily for you I also have two tickets to give away!

With a beard that is no longer as flame-coloured as it once was, the fire in Glen Hansard’s belly is burning stronger than ever. The front man of Irish band The Frames for the last 25 years, he now has two solo albums to his name. You probably know Glen Hansard from his lead role and Oscar winning soundtrack for the film Once. You may have heard his last band The Swell Season on Belgian radio or seen him on The Simpsons.

Glen’s songs are so interwoven in my life that they feel like they are part of me. His songs are in my heart, in my soul, in me. Every time I see him perform, those songs come alive, dance and tear me apart in a thousand happy pieces. I have seen him step onstage hundreds of times, and every single time he has left me awe-inspired and full of love. Which is why I’ve made it my personal mission to share his music with others.


Glen’s songs of lost love are so powerful and real, they open a window in many hearts. Glen’s rendition of ‘Leave’ in the Melkweg, Amsterdam last year left me with tears streaming down my cheeks. I’m sure I was not alone, the sold out venue was so quiet that I could hear the air-conditioning on the other side of the room. His voice transported everyone to that moment, the moment she kicked him in the chest and knocked the wind out of him. This song exists in the breathless moment before he has had a chance to stand up and inhale.

“I can’t wait forever“, is all that you said before you stood up
But you won’t disappoint me, I can do that myself
But I’m glad that you’ve come

Now if you don’t mind leave,

Let go of my hand
You said what you came to, now leave.

I see you rolling your eyes at the thought of another singer-songwriter with a broken heart. But I’d say Glen Hansard blows this stereotype out of the water. His latest album Didn’t He Ramble plays like a collection of personal letters to friends and family. I’ve left all of his concerts with more love and joy than I brought with me.

Glen seems to understand energy in the same way people in a yoga class do. Nearing the end of this tour last year, he told me that he is in a space of neutral energy. Not exhausted, and no longer full of energy, but just existing. This is difficult to believe if you see him on stage, energy sizzling off him like he’s in a frying pan. “It’s about the transfer of energy,” he said with a sparkle in his eye. “You get energy from me and I get energy from you.”

That energy I’d like to share with you. Tell me which music moves your heart. What song touches you and makes you deeply feel? Which song or artist moves you to tears? On the 15th of November we will select our favorite story and the lucky winner will receive two tickets for Glen Hansard’s sold out concert in De Roma Antwerp on the 18th of November. See you there!

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4 reacties
  • Nagiko says:

    Hi Hilary,

    My favourite: If It Be Your Will by Leonard Cohen

    This song was the only one that popped in my mind when a friend asked: “What’s your favourite song and why?”. Of course Cohen leaving us contributed but all who know his work looked it up again. (I’m writing this in the drizzle at the bus stop Mestputteke in Deurne and his smoky ‘Dance me to the end of Love’ is bleeding through from the car in front of me.)

    I was 14 when I heard the first minute of If It Be Your Will in Pump Up the Volume (1990) where Mark Hunter in a moment of crisis has to face his fears that he’s found out. That he has to accept and reveal his true self. Come what may. I could relate.

    I wanted to know more and discovered my mother loved him too. She dug up his first record for me from her dusty collection of French chansons, The Bee Gees and Micha Marah. It made her very happy we shared the same taste. Years later when Cohen came to the Antwerp Sportpaleis I invited her, “Probably your last chance ever”, but she didn’t care for the large crowd. He performed If It Be Your Will and I cried.

    It’s a prayer but for me this prayer is offered to the one you love, at the precipice where everything is burning and aching but your mind is calm by sheer exhaustion. It’s laying face to face in the dark not sure of she’s looking at you too, it’s barging in a restaurant soaked and shivering, it’s clicking send accepting all consequences. Come what may. Because … you could end up kissing in the rain.
    If It Be Your Will.

  • Sarah says:

    You just gave me a beautifull treasure. I didn’t know The Frames but I just looked them up on youtube: Blown away. Thank you! (Somehow, they remind me of 16 Horsepower.)

    • So happy you like it!
      One more step on my journey to turn the whole world into Frames fans!
      And we can really use some good honest music, especially after the week we have had.
      Make sure to check Glen’s solo stuff on youtube also, he has some really beautiful videos.

    • Charlie says:

      Hi Sarah,

      If you’re free this Friday (De Roma, 20u30) the concert tickets are yours! After confirmation we’ll leave the tickets under your name at the entrance.

Seriously hilary is a Belgium-based Irish semi-redhead. She writes for, pretends she can sew and was an artist in a previous life. hilary wears tights all the time because her legs glow in the dark and she doesn't want to blind anyone.

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