Irish songwriter Glen Hansard of Swell Season and The Frames has graced the world with some of the most sincere folk music and original soundtracks in recent years, like beautiful ballads from the Oscar-winning Once, which he also starred in. Now, once again, the composer has written another touching film track, “Are You Getting Through,” for the IFC film The Journey directed by Nick Hamm out Friday (June 16).
The film tells the story of two men (Ian Paisley, a conservative British loyalist played by Timothy Spall, and Martin McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army leader devoted to the reunification of Ireland portrayed by Colm Meaney) who must try to find common ground on a long, detoured road trip through the Scottish countryside.
In Hansard’s song written for the film, which was recorded with the help of his ten-piece band, the singer/songwriter encapsulates the simple humanity of the film’s message. With Hansard’s raw voice and the ballad’s illuminating strings, as the song builds and Hansard sings, “Are you getting through / are you breathing / is there someone looking out for you,” “Are You Getting Through” feels like an inspiring journey of its own.
Hansard said, “When I was asked to contribute I felt very strongly about approaching it on a human level. It’s such a huge political and religious divide. Nick’s script was great. For the film I wanted to pull the song into a place that suited my impression of Paisley as a community elder and McGuinness’s empathy. The humanity of what they were undertaking.”
Watch the lyric video below.