Great news this morning from the desk of the Academy Awards bureau of annoying technicalities. “Falling Slowly”, the beautiful song from Once, will remain on the ballots of Oscar voters.

Yesterday we sounded the alarm here, that though “Falling Slowly” was already nominated in the Best Original Song category for this year’s Oscars, it was being scrutinized by the Academy and could be removed from contention over some technicality. Apparently the history of how the song actually made it into the movie is somewhat confusing.

From the comments left by CB Readers on our original story, some of whom claim to have been involved in the production of the film, the problem went a little something like this: “Falling Slowly” was written several years before the movie was actually made. It was never used in anything until the film came along, though it was written with the characters involved in the film in mind. It may have been that time lapse which caused the Academy to scrutinize it so closely, after all the normal mode of operation for a Hollywood movie is you get the movie ready to go first, then you come up with the music for it. In the case of Once, the music may have come first, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t original music written only for that movie.

Here’s the official statement released by the Academy, as carried by the NY Times:

“The Academy’s music branch executive committee has met and endorsed the validity of “Falling Slowly” as a nominated achievement. The committee relied on written assurances and detailed chronologies provided by songwriter of “Falling Slowly,” the writer-director of “Once” and Fox Searchlight.

The genesis of the picture was unusually protracted, but director John Carney and songwriter Glen Hansard were working closely together in 2002 when the project that became ‘Once’ was discussed. ‘Falling Slowly’ began to be composed, but the actual script and financing for the picture was delayed for several years, during which time Mr. Hansard and his collaborator Marketa Irglova played the song in some venues that were deemed inconsequential enough to not change the song’s eligibility.”

Now that we’ve got this solved, it’s on to the Oscars where little Once will have to somehow beat out three songs submitted by the Disney machine for Enchanted, and one submission form August Rush. Once deserves the win, but even if it doesn’t, it’ll be worth watching just to see Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova on stage performing it.

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