Thanks to my brother and sister in law, I was aware of how good this song was before it won an Oscar this year. They brought the DVD of the movie 'Once' with them for the Christmas holidays, and we watched it one evening in our lounge after the children had gone to bed. It's a touching film that reminded me a little of the brilliant 'Before Sunrise' and 'Lost in Translation'. Although I really liked this song when I heard it I did wonder how well it would stand up as a track on it's own without the movie. Well, in retrospect I think pretty well is the answer.
The lyrics seem to sum up the plot of the film, but if you take them out of that context they can have a different kind of meaning. During her Oscar speech (which was delayed after she had been cut off by the music before the commercial break - watch it here) Marketa Irglova said of the song: 'And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are.' A film with a tiny budget can win an award at the world's most prestigious film awards - the humble sometimes surprise the mighty! And as the song says:
'Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now'
There is hope there for even the weakest and most insignificant of us who can point our 'sinking boats' in the direction of the One from whom all hope derives. Listen to the song and watch the movie, you won't regret it.