This song is Spring.
It’s easy enough to point to nearly any Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and say that — “Judy: Blue Eyes,” certainly. “Guinnevere,” absolutely. “Our House,” you bet.
But “Helplessly Hoping” is it, the most Spring of any of their songs. This is it.
The opening guitar could be anything, it could be Spring showers, blossoms sprouting, skipping down the street, a gentle breeze, sunshine peeking through clouds.
It’s hope, the kind that comes from feeling warm air on your skin, packing away heavy clothes, letting your body relax after bracing against cold, being out among people again, being free from the doldrums of Winter.
“…gasping at glimpses of gentle true spirit he runs / wishing he could fly…”
It’s meeting people for the first time and seeing old friends in a new light. It’s the excitement, confusion and frustration that comes from new beginnings. It’s the senseless equations that form chemistry.
“…they are one person / they are two alone / they are three together / they are for each other…”
It’s taking chances, letting things go, daring to live.
“…love isn’t lying it’s loose in a lady who lingers / saying she is lost / and choking on hello…”
And it’s far too short, requiring your attention almost immediately before it threatens to slip into yesterday.