When your mind’s made up (from Once)

There’s a 2006 Irish musical film called Once, which is one of those movies that grabs hold of you and won’t let go. It’s a really simple story about a musician (Glen Hansard from The Frames) busking on the street, who meets another musician (Markéta Irglová) by chance, and they decide to record an album. The addition of her vocals and keyboard to his rough-edged vocals and guitar makes amazing chemistry. It’s a story about following your dreams, putting it all on the line, and making art.

I’ve been listening to the soundtrack in the car today. The movie is just about all soundtrack, so certain songs bring back vivid visual memories. There’s this one scene — the first in the recording studio — that either sends shivers down my spine or makes me weep every time I hear the song.

Basically, the unnamed guy and girl have gathered a couple of other musos, including a dishevelled base guitar player and a drummer, and the recording studio guy dismisses the lot of them on sight. He’s not taking them very seriously as they start to record the first track, but then as it goes on and it’s amazing, he starts to take notice. You can see the realisation dawning… he puts on his headphones, starts fiddling with the knobs, and becomes as riveted as the viewer (me!).

That moment when you know this guy has something special, that he and his motley bunch of musos are making art, is simply breathtaking. And the performance of that song — When your mind’s made up — is easily my favourite moment in the movie and my favourite song on the soundtrack.

It’s gutsy, raw, heart-felt. Art = emotion.

Here’s the song on YouTube. Unfortunately it doesn’t play as it’s seen in the movie, but you do get some scenes — I highly recommend getting hold of Once and watching the whole film!

Does music ever move you to great depths of emotion? What songs/pieces in particular?

14 thoughts on “When your mind’s made up (from Once)

  1. I have put Once on my to-be-watched list. It sounds like my kind of movie.

    Yes, music taps into my emotions – especially National Anthems. I know that sounds silly but that’s what happens for me. Any nation’s anthem, especially as played at the Olympics. And most especially my own “O Canada” when we are at an event where we all rise to sing it. I can hardly sing, I get so choked up. I am mostly listening to everyone around me singing.


  2. Once is a great movie and that scene is so beautifully moving. Thanks for reminding me about it. I have a whole playlist of songs that are deeply touching to me and many of them move me to tears. Out of that list, two stand out as the most moving to me right now: After the Storm by Mumford and Sons and Long Time Traveller by the Wailin’ Jennys.


    1. Oh Tami I’m stoked you know the scene I’m talking about!

      Also, I LOVE the Wailin’ Jennies, but I don’t know that song… I’m probably an album or two behind. Must go look it up and get hold of some more recent albums!


  3. Music has always been a very powerful experience for me. Ozric Tentacles has been my favorite band for many years and I find their body of work to be amazing. These days I mostly listen to stuff that feeds my creativity, especially as it applies to writing–lots of electronic space music and movie soundtracks, as well as folk metal and viking metal 🙂


    1. I confess I don’t know Ozric Tentacles. They sound intriguing… Some brand of metal? I’m not much of a metal listener and the hardest folk I know (and love) is fairport convention. (doesn’t really count I guess).

      Electronic space music + oriental fantasy sounds like a heady mix!! Can’t wait to read one day 🙂


      1. Nah, Ozric Tentacles style is probably best described as “ethnic psychedelic space rock.” They’re an instrumental band that uses a lot of eastern scales and layers rich textures on top of complex musical arrangements that often meander into different places from where they started. It’s instrumental music, so for me it works well as music to listen to, as well as have in the background when I’m working on something.

        Here’s a sample from when they were at the height of their awesome, if you’re curious: http://youtu.be/QIaje9YlIvc


  4. Oddly, I haven’t seen the movie but I love the sound track. “Falling Slowly” in particular has a lot of emotional resonance for me.

    I do keep meaning to see the movie, I’ve heard lots of good things about it. 🙂


    1. Yes, falling slowly is also a great song, with much more AirPlay. The whole sound track is wonderful! Let me know how you like the movie – I saw the movie first, so wonder how the experience will differ.


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