At 20, he landed his first record deal and, shortly after, was cast in the film adaptation of Roddy Doyle's The Commitments, about a raucous cabaret R&B act.
Have you seen Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová covering another artist?
Ballymun was a troubled place: 45 children in my class, and none of us getting any particular attention or education." And at home? "He knew I had a brain, just that I wasn't engaging it." Despite the legal requirements concerning children in school, the headmaster encouraged him to leave.
"He told me to go and busk; he guaranteed me that, while I might not become a rock star, if I stuck at it, I'd likely make a living from it.
In the midst of the pomp and circumstance of that evening, the stars of Once gave hope to struggling songwriters the world over that, yes, even in the face of Hollywood blockbusters, auto-tune, and enormous marketing budgets, the music can still prevail.
In the unlikely event that you missed "Falling Slowly" in 2008, your mom probably didn't: it's a gorgeous, striking tune in the vein of late-period Leonard Cohen, with a hymn-like melody and cross-generational appeal, and it transformed Glen Hansard's life.