Love is a Sickness Full of Woes (1995) [piano solo]
— The second "free and strict" transcription, here of John Ireland’s bittersweet song "Love is a Sickness Full of Woes". Helps uses the two original text verses to form the structure of “LiaSFoW”: the first presents a rather faithful rendering of the original, the second is covered with Helps’ decadent harmonic fingerprints. This is also the only explicit compositional testament of Helps’ ten-year love affair with Ireland’s underappreciated music.
Duration: 3 ½ minutes
The score of this lovely transcription is dedicated to Teresa Ancaya and Andrew Infanti.
Love is a sickness full of woes
All remedies refusing,
A flower that with most cutting, grows,
Most barren with best using.
More we enjoy it, more it dies
If not enjoyed it, sighing, cries:
Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho… *
* Helps suggested replacing the obsolete British interjection “Heigh Ho!” with the evergreen Yiddishism “Oy Vay!” to better convey the song’s existential plaint…