While Glen Hansard was on the road earlier this year he saw footage of Patti Smith performing in Brooklyn, saying "People, take heart. Things will get better, and if they don’t - we’ll make them better!" At the same time, the war in Ukraine had started -- his neighbors in Ireland had taken in refugee families -- and, inspired by Patti's words, he wrote a new song, "Take Heart." It features his Swell Season partner, Markéta Irglova, as well as backing vocals by three Ukrainian refugees, Anna, Alex and Olena, who helped him with the line “Povernit’sya do mene / povernit’sya do mene / povernit’sya do mene / do mene Neushkodzhenym,” which translates to “Return to me / return to me / return to me unharmed.”

“This song is a single flower placed at the foot of all this devastation," says Glen, "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.”

You can watch the video for "Take Heart" below.

"Take Heart" also raises awareness for Ukrainian Action, which represents the interests of the Ukrainian community in Ireland and humanitarian relief for the war in Ukraine.

Glen and Markéta toured earlier this year in celebration of Once's 15th anniversary.

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