In his latest single, ‘Take Heart,’ Glen Hansard draws inspiration from Patti Smith’s rallying cry for hope amidst political turmoil and his experiences with Ukrainian refugees in Ireland.
The track features vocals from Hansard’s longtime collaborator Marketa Irglova and three Ireland-based Ukrainian refugees, Anna, Alex and Olena, adding a personal touch to the political themes at hand.
Hansard was moved by Smith’s words and conversations with neighbour Marina, who had taken in two Ukrainian families seeking refuge in Ireland. These personal experiences, coupled with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, inspired ‘Take Heart.’
The song’s lyrics reflect on themes of displacement and loss, highlighted by the inclusion of Ukrainian vocals singing a prayer for their loved ones to return unharmed. Hansard’s decision to collaborate with Irglova and refugees adds a heartwarming layer to the track, bringing the political issues to life through personal stories and experiences.
Hansard found the recording experience of ‘Take Heart’ to be powerful, stating: “This song is a single flower placed at the foot of all this devastation, a candle lit among the millions placed helplessly at the doors of embassies or left burning in windows; it’s a prayer sent up into the great cloud of goodwill that circles the globe. It’s a thing that didn’t exist, and now it does, an offering, thanks to Patti, Alex, Anna, Olena and Markéta, who heard it as I was working on it and joined in to make it stronger. This is for them and to all those who lost or are missing loved ones on every side of this brutal war.”
‘Take Heart’ is a moving tribute to those affected by war and displacement, with Hansard using his platform to spread awareness and inspire hope.
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To offer support or learn more about Ukrainian refugees in Ireland, visit https://www.ukrainianaction.ie/