Poetry In Music: Helplessly Hoping

I love the simplicity of poetry. Creating an image for the reader with the fewest amount of words is a challenge, and when done well very memorable.

Many song lyrics are a form of poetry. Not all are, and please understand I am not saying that is what makes a great song.  But it seems that many of the most unforgettable songs in my life have been that perfect blend of poetry, alteration, music, and harmony.

In my opinion, (for what it’s worth-pun intended) this song is one the best examples of this marriage. I have been fortunate enough to see CSN&Y twice in concert; once when they were young men, and once as more seasoned performers. Each was a unique experiences, but I will never forget them singing this in concert in 1974. I was 17, and it was one of  many catalysts in my desire to write poetry.

First the lyrics then the video.

If you can, take some time out tonight and listen to this, and if you have a loved one, sit them down with you and hold their hand while it plays.

You won’t regret it.

Helplessly Hoping
by Stephen Stills 

Helplessly hoping
Her harlequin hovers nearby
Awaiting a word
Gasping at glimpses
Of gentle true spirit
He runs, wishing he could fly
Only to trip at the sound of good-bye

Wordlessly watching
He waits by the window
And wonders 
At the empty place inside
Heartlessly helping himself to her bad dreams
He worries
Did he hear a good-bye? Or even hello?

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are four for each other

Stand by the stairway
You’ll see something
Certain to tell you confusion has it’s cost
Love isn’t lying
It’s loose in a lady who lingers
Saying she is lost
And choking on hello

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are four for each other

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