Songs of Good Hope
by Greg McAteer
The Irelands that Glen Hansard and I come from could hardly be more different. His is Dublin’s winged and winded North Inner City, the country’s wounded heart, a focusless urban tear on a once imperious city’s face. I come from a tiny rural village perched half way up a mountain that straddles the faultline we call the border, occupied for decades by the British Army and now bereft of them, like a widow mourning the husband she hated. There’s no doubting though that we’re both stamped with an indelible Irishness. We share the same conversational gambits and national neuroses, an obsession with the weather—as the...