Simply one of the most beautiful songs ever written, Stephen Stills takes full advantage of the range of CSNY’s harmony in Helplessly Hoping. It is the complexity of their harmony and the timing that makes covering this song such a daunting proposition for any band. And yet there are those out there who have done an admirable job of taking on the task. They are one person. They are two alone. They are three together. They are for each other. Here is a representative sample in some surprisingly simple settings of this sumptuous acoustic song.
There are versions of the tune that are attractive because of the pure joy of singing etched on the faces of its performers. Such is the case for Ladies of the Roach Motel who may not have the tightest harmony of the bunch, but render it as if it were done with the spontaneity of let’s do this! on a whim, or a karaoke dare.
I’ll leave you with the cover by a Dutch band, SYA (Suddenly Years Align). When you have a chance, check out the body of their heavenly work here. As one of the commenters wrote in the nearly 5000 comments since 2016, these young women capture the elements of pain, happiness, and understanding inherent in Helplessly Hoping.