Falling Slowly

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"Falling Slowly"
Song by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová from the album Once
Released April 21, 2006 (The Swell Season)
September 22, 2006 (The Cost)
May 22, 2007 (Once soundtrack)
February 2008 (radio single)
Genre Indie folk
Indie rock
Length 4:50 (Album Version)
4:04 (Soundtrack Version)
4:35 (The Frames Version)
Label Overcoat Recordings
Writer Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
Producer Glen Hansard

"Falling Slowly" is a song written and performed by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, as well as by Hansard's band, The Frames. It appeared in their 2006 film Once, from which it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 80th Academy Awards.[1]


The song was written while Once was in production. John Carney developed the script around songs provided by Hansard and Irglová.[2] In the movie, the duo play the song in Walton's music shop in Dublin, with Hansard on guitar and Irglová on piano. The couple performed it at gigs in various European venues over the next two years.[3] Versions appeared in 2006 on two albums: The Cost by Hansard's band The Frames, and The Swell Season, an album by Hansard and Irglová.[4] According to the "First Showing," article, After almost getting her acceptance speech skipped and almost not getting to say a word for her acceptance at the 2008 ceremony after their Oscar win, Irglova made a speech about the song in which at the end of the speech she says, “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...” [5]


The song charted at #16 in the Irish Singles Chart when it was first released by The Frames. The Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová version charted at #28 in December 2007, before peaking at #2 in March 2008, following the song's Oscar win.

Chart (2008) Peak
position [6]
Irish Singles Chart 2
Canadian Hot 100 8
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 61


The song was nominated at the 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media; it lost to "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls.[7]

The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song on 24 February 2008, ahead of the choral gospel song "Raise It Up" from August Rush and three songs from the modern Disney musical Enchanted.[4] The song's win marked the fourth year in a row that the Oscar winner had not been nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. For some time, the song's eligibility for an Oscar was in dispute because it had been performed and recorded prior to the release of Once.[4] The Academy ruled that because the song had been composed for the movie, and the prior public exposure during the long period that the movie took to produce had been minimal, it remained eligible.[3] The Academy had ruled likewise on a similar controversy involving 2004 Best Original Song nominee "In the Deep". According to the Academy rules, the song was disqualified because there was some dispute over whether or not the song was written originally for the film. The song was up against three others: songs from "Enchanted" and "Raise it Up" from "August Rush"[8] But they were still able to win despite the many disputes surrounding the issue of Academy eligibility.


"Falling Slowly [9]"
Single by Louise Dearman & Shayne Ward
Released 17 February 2014 (2014-02-17)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Length 3:55
Label Silva Screen Records Ltd.
Louise Dearman singles chronology
  • "Falling Slowly"
  • (2014)
Shayne Ward chronology
  • "Falling Slowly"
  • (2014)

"Falling Slowly" appears on the original cast album of the stage adaptation of Once, performed by Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti; this album won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

"Falling Slowly" has been covered by synthpop group Joy Electric on their 2009 covers album, Favorites at Play. Derek Webb recorded a cover of the song on his democratically selected cover album Democracy, Vol. 2.

"Falling Slowly" has been covered by the operatic pop group Il Divo in their album Wicked Game as a Spanish rendition, as "Falling Slowly (Te Prometo.)"

"Falling Slowly" was covered by Damian McGinty on Celtic Thunder's Voyage album in 2012. Josh Groban covered "Falling Slowly" on his 2013 album, All That Echoes.

Louise Dearman & Shayne Ward released a version on 17 February 2014. [10]

Critical Reception[edit]

After Kris Allen’s performance on American Idol, “Falling Slowly,” the song went from the 33rd most popular and downloaded song on iTunes to the 29th most popular and downloaded song but the appearance was not "American Idol" judge Randy's favorite performance but the audience was clearly moved by Allen's performance.[11] Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s performance on screen and on stage amazed so many people that even Bob Dylan wanted them to be his opening act on his World Tour.[12] According to "Entertainment Weekly," "The film and lyrics to the song were popular search terms on Google this morning".[12]


  1. ^ "Art I Love: Glen Hansard And Marketa Irglova "Falling Slowly: From the Film "Once"2007. The MCG Project. 14 Feb 2013. Web. 3 Nov. 2013 http://themcbproject.com/art-i-love-glen-hansard-and-marketa-irglova-falling-slowly-from-the-film-once-2007/
  2. ^ Martens, Todd (28 January 2008). "'Once' and the out-of-tune votes". The Envelope-Extended Play. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Martens, Todd (30 January 2008). "'Once' song eligible for Oscar". The Envelope-Extended Play. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c The Carpetbagger (26 January 2008). "Song Getting the "Once" Over". New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Once Actress Marketa Irglova's Wonderful Oscar Acceptance Speech." First Showing. 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/once-actress-marketa-irglovas-wonderful-oscar-acceptance-speech/
  6. ^ "Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - Falling Slowly worldwide chart positions and trajectories". aCharts.us. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  7. ^ "Grammy 2008 Winners List". MTV Asia. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  8. ^ "Song Getting the “Once” Over." Carpetbagger. The New York Times, 26 Jan. 2008. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/26/song-getting-the-once-over/?_r=0>.
  9. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/falling-slowly-from-once-single/id816156920
  10. ^ http://ituneshut.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/single-louise-dearman-shayne-ward.html
  11. ^ "'American Idol': Will Kris Allen Help Boost Sales of 'Once'?" EW.com. Entertainment Weekly, 15th Apr. 2009. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/04/15/will-kris-allen/
  12. ^ a b Songfacts. Web. Retrieved on 2 Nov. 2013 at http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=10097

External links[edit]