Sunday, October 7, 2007
Once and Again
The centerpiece of the wonderful new Irish movie Once is a scene that takes place in a music store, as guitar-strumming busker Glen Hansard shows teenage Czech immigrant pianist Marketa Irglova (their characters are never named) a song he has supposedly just written, "Falling Slowly." The way they connect, both musically and emotionally, with Irglova learning the song while Hansard plays it for her, is just lovely, as are the working-class atmospherics of the music store -- it is the only place the povertous Irglova can go to play the piano.
But the problem with the scene is that I half-expected Irglova to recognize the song right away: the first lines of "Falling Slowly" trace the same melody as the opening lines to Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me." The lyrics are even very similar; Hansard has "I don't know you/But I want to," while Smokey sang, "I don't like you/But I love you."
Ah, the irrepressible Irish. Even when they're robbing you blind, you can't help but love 'em.