“We didn’t know we had tickets, but someone got us some. Honestly, it was just so overwhelming. When it won Best Musical myself and Mar were just sitting together saying, ‘Oh my God.’
“We both left before the end. I just walked for forty blocks. I needed to do that, to just take it in. I was looking around at all the big buildings and thinking it’s the American Dream.
“I thought of that Tom Waits song. He sings, ‘I’m going to take you New York I’ll make it happen, I’ll be on the caboose, I’ll be drinking Manhattans.’”
You’d think by now he’d have an idea that he’s a star, but this is Glen Hansard the Dubliner, the Irishman who made his own luck, who wrote his own songs, who followed his own dream and is now astounded to discover it’s come true.
So I ask him, do the Irish know how to win?
“That’s a f***ing great question. That should be the headline of your piece. That’s the best question I’ve been asked in an interview ever,” Hansard says.
“I think one of the gifts of the Irish is the ability to see things from every perspective, and then after that there’s all the guilt that’s been drilled into us. I think that as a nation we’re very young.
“I still think we haven’t found our confidence. We’re only 80 years old. We’re an ancient people but colonized for so long that I still feel we don’t know how to own our successes.
“We’re more comfortable in the shade. When success comes were not sure how to be around our own.”
But success has clearly come to Hansard. So he admits that running away to New York was an important move for him.
“I love Ireland. I love it more than f***ing anything else in the world. But if you’re serious about your life and your work you have to bail. You have to get out of there.”
Hansard starts his national tour this week. Rhythm and Repose, will be released on June 19.
Glen Hansard - "Philander"