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 Post subject: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Thu January 30th, 2014, 20:44 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 11th, 2007, 04:15 GMT
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http://vimeo.com/62483611

I laid on a dune, I looked at the sky,
When the children were babies and played on the beach.
You came up behind me, I saw you go by,
You were always so close and still within reach.
Sara, Sara,
Whatever made you want to change your mind?
Sara, Sara,
So easy to look at, so hard to define.

I can still see them playin’ with their pails in the sand,
They run to the water their buckets to fill.
I can still see the shells fallin’ out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara,
Sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life,
Sara, Sara,
Radiant jewel, mystical wife.

Sleepin’ in the woods by a fire in the night,
Drinkin’ white rum in a Portugal bar,
Them playin’ leapfrog and hearin’ about Snow White,
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar.

Sara, Sara,
It’s all so clear, I could never forget,
Sara, Sara
Lovin’ you is the one thing I’ll never regret.

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells,
I’d taken the cure and had just gotten through,
Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel,
Writin’ “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for you.

Sara, Sara,
Wherever we travel we’re never apart.
Sara, oh Sara,
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart.

How did I meet you? I don’t know.
A messenger sent me in a tropical storm.
You were there in the winter, moonlight on the snow
And on Lily Pond Lane when the weather was warm.

Sara, oh Sara,
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress,
Sara, Sara,
You must forgive me my unworthiness.

Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore.
You always responded when I needed your help,
You gimme a map and a key to your door.

Sara, oh Sara,
Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow,
Sara, oh Sara,
Don’t ever leave me, don’t ever go.

'My very favorite song on Desire is its final track, ‘Sara,’ yet another example of a classic Dylan closer. This is one of my favorite Dylan songs of all time and, perhaps not coincidentally, the most emotionally open he’s ever been on record. Sung for his soon to be ex-wife, who was actually in the studio during its recording, ‘Sara’ is a poignant reminiscence of their family life that aches with resignation.
‘Sara’ is such a departure for the usually opaque Dylan that he actually references writing another classic album closer, ‘Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,’ for his then-wife. Dylan rarely speaks about the origins of his songs… for him to so openly tip his hand about one song in the lyrics of another is shocking.
What’s always moved me the most about ‘Sara’ is how detailed Dylan gets about his children. He describes them playing on the beach, filling pails and dropping shells, playing leapfrog and talking about Snow White. It seems it’s this portrait of parenthood and domestic ordinariness that he’ll miss as much as anything as Sara leaves him.'

Here's the song used in a beautiful montage scene from Renaldo & Clara:
http://vimeo.com/80882614

What do we all think of this one ER??
Curious, I'm sure it's a polarizing song....


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Thu January 30th, 2014, 21:52 GMT 
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One of my faves. I get chills everytime he sings, "Lovin’ you is the one thing I’ll never regret."

I really love the Rolling Thunder performances of this song. The emotion is carried over so perfectly during that tour. I wonder if Sara knew he had written that song when she went to the studio.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Thu January 30th, 2014, 22:41 GMT 
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Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel,
Writin’ “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for you


I remember reading somewhere...maybe here on ER, that he did not write Sad Eyed Lady at the Chelsea Hotel, but I've always felt like those lines are two separate thoughts, just like in the preceding verse.

Them playin’ leapfrog and hearin’ about Snow White,
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar



It's a very touching song, You can see his memories passing in the images. It feels very vulnerable, unlike anything else he's written. The R&C clip is stunning.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Thu January 30th, 2014, 22:43 GMT 
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I remember reading somewhere (maybe here?) where someone described this song as the "Dylan Family Scrapbook" because it is full of loving visual moments about the children playing in the sand, etc. Pretty acurate description.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Thu January 30th, 2014, 23:22 GMT 
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Very intimate revealing window to Bob and his deep feelings for family. Love the phrasing and emphasis he is so good at. Much of the accompanying imagery adds depth to the song, and parts are somewhat disconnected-crowd scene of the kids. All in all very moving.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Thu January 30th, 2014, 23:31 GMT 
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Location: Valley of the self-pitying unemployed
SAAARAAA SAAAAAAAAARAAAAA!


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 03:34 GMT 

Joined: Mon June 25th, 2007, 17:03 GMT
Posts: 89
This is a song that defines you. before you hear it, then after. You are different. What makes it special? The only one where you know the name AND the person, maybe. Powerful...defining.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 10:37 GMT 
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love the melody, but listening to it almost feels a bit intrusive. i wonder what it must have been like for the other musicians...


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 13:58 GMT 
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SAAARAAAAAAA!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 14:19 GMT 
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beautiful song. Beautiful to play/sing, too. I love the rhythm. When I first heard it I thought it was about Sarah in the Bible. Abraham to Sara. Didnt know much about Dylan at the time -- didnt know he was even married until he was divorced (both times), let alone what his wife's name was . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 18:28 GMT 

Joined: Tue November 8th, 2011, 23:20 GMT
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Location: Where Teardrops Fall
It's the one song I generally skip, probably would have been better left off the album and replaced with another. It could have been put on one of the Bootleg Series.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 18:49 GMT 
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Not a conventional 'best' song for many people, but it really should be! It is very rare to hear a Dylan song where he outright lays his true feelings on the table not only for the audience, but the subject of the song to hear/understand. Deep, bare emotion in the singing alone is amazing (always reminds me of "Going to Acapulco" vocally). The lyrics too stand head and shoulders with anything else he has done or could still do; specific and personal but also evocative and dreamy, all adding up to heart-wrenching (and I hardly ever use that word) scene of conflict and love. The best way to end one of my favorite albums!


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 20:39 GMT 
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Really beautiful song, and the harmonica opener is one of my favorites from Bob. Top notch track from one of my absolute favorite Dylan albums!!!

I had a friend who I got somewhat into Dylan for a time a few years back, and this song was one of his absolute favorites.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 21:09 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 29th, 2013, 18:23 GMT
Posts: 529
Location: helsinki rock sity
raging_glory wrote:
Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel,
Writin’ “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for you


I remember reading somewhere...maybe here on ER, that he did not write Sad Eyed Lady at the Chelsea Hotel, but I've always felt like those lines are two separate thoughts, just like in the preceding verse.


This is my reading of the lines too. There's also a difference between writing a song for someone and about someone...

"Sara" is a most Dylanesque song, I think. I can't decide which way to go with it - is it a slightly embarrassing and thus disarmingly honest song, or some kind of joke? It's like, the lyrics are so ridiculous, the lines like -

"sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life" &

"glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow"

- jeez, writing something like this for/about your wife. Not to mention recording it. Performing it in public! Oh, god. It's got to be in jest or some clever wordplay... And yet. Heavy with personal context, the naff metaphors and similes pile up on each other, like he's desperately grasping at any words to reach her, and the vocal delivery is absolutely dead-serious and heart-wrenching. He sounds honest and vulnerable. I don't really want to doubt his intentions. It's awkward listening to this song. It almost hurts. It's one of his best in my opinion, but I also don't listen to it that often because it usually makes me cringe and cry simultaneously.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Fri January 31st, 2014, 21:21 GMT 

Joined: Tue August 20th, 2013, 11:08 GMT
Posts: 29
I love this tune, especially the Rolling Thunder live versions. I get what people are saying, it's the most open he's ever been, so much so at times it does feel slightly intrusive listening to Sara.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 01:07 GMT 
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I think Sara, Oh Sister, and One More Cup of Coffee all complement each other musically and thematically. A sort of wistful acceptance in the tone of the singer.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 01:15 GMT 

Joined: Tue February 17th, 2009, 02:57 GMT
Posts: 3533
If Only You Were Lonely wrote:
I love this tune, especially the Rolling Thunder live versions. I get what people are saying, it's the most open he's ever been, so much so at times it does feel slightly intrusive listening to Sara.


This song has some good evocative lyrics and a real atmosphere to it, it actually manages to sound like a empty beach, maybe under a cloud cover.

But it's overwrought too. "Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow?" Stuff that kind of kicks in the gag reflex. Plus that it's a very personal address to a person I don't even know, like John Lennon's songs to Yoko Ono. It's there on the LP, I may listen to it or I may not.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 13:13 GMT 
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Soylent Green Preservation Society wrote:

This is my reading of the lines too. There's also a difference between writing a song for someone and about someone...

"Sara" is a most Dylanesque song, I think. I can't decide which way to go with it - is it a slightly embarrassing and thus disarmingly honest song, or some kind of joke? It's like, the lyrics are so ridiculous, the lines like -

"sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life" &

"glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow"

- jeez, writing something like this for/about your wife. Not to mention recording it. Performing it in public! Oh, god. It's got to be in jest or some clever wordplay... And yet. Heavy with personal context, the naff metaphors and similes pile up on each other, like he's desperately grasping at any words to reach her, and the vocal delivery is absolutely dead-serious and heart-wrenching. He sounds honest and vulnerable. I don't really want to doubt his intentions. It's awkward listening to this song. It almost hurts. It's one of his best in my opinion, but I also don't listen to it that often because it usually makes me cringe and cry simultaneously.


That's pretty much my take on it as well, but I prefer your wording.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 14:15 GMT 

Joined: Tue November 13th, 2012, 17:27 GMT
Posts: 1185
Location: Passing through
Soylent Green Preservation Society wrote:
"Sara" is a most Dylanesque song, I think. I can't decide which way to go with it - is it a slightly embarrassing and thus disarmingly honest song, or some kind of joke? It's like, the lyrics are so ridiculous, the lines like -

"sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life" &

"glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow"

- jeez, writing something like this for/about your wife. Not to mention recording it. Performing it in public! Oh, god. It's got to be in jest or some clever wordplay... And yet. Heavy with personal context, the naff metaphors and similes pile up on each other, like he's desperately grasping at any words to reach her, and the vocal delivery is absolutely dead-serious and heart-wrenching. He sounds honest and vulnerable. I don't really want to doubt his intentions. It's awkward listening to this song. It almost hurts. It's one of his best in my opinion, but I also don't listen to it that often because it usually makes me cringe and cry simultaneously.


I agree it is akward, and on the live performances 75 it went:

"Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
where you fought for my soul and went up against the odds
I was too young to know you were doing it right
and you did it with the strength that belonged to the gods."

(which is no less soppy)

"Sara" is the "Ballad in Plain D" of the seventies... Or maybe the "Boots of Spanish Leather", of which Suze Rotolo commented that it annoyed her that he was using their personal experiences for a public song and sung it up and down the Village, where then people got angry with her because she was so ugly to poor Bobby and left him all alone going off to Italy.

It was still my favorite song on Desire though.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 14:19 GMT 
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Mutabor wrote:
Soylent Green Preservation Society wrote:
"Sara" is a most Dylanesque song, I think. I can't decide which way to go with it - is it a slightly embarrassing and thus disarmingly honest song, or some kind of joke? It's like, the lyrics are so ridiculous, the lines like -

"sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life" &

"glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow"

- jeez, writing something like this for/about your wife. Not to mention recording it. Performing it in public! Oh, god. It's got to be in jest or some clever wordplay... And yet. Heavy with personal context, the naff metaphors and similes pile up on each other, like he's desperately grasping at any words to reach her, and the vocal delivery is absolutely dead-serious and heart-wrenching. He sounds honest and vulnerable. I don't really want to doubt his intentions. It's awkward listening to this song. It almost hurts. It's one of his best in my opinion, but I also don't listen to it that often because it usually makes me cringe and cry simultaneously.


I agree it is akward, and on the live performances 75 it went:

"Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
where you fought for my soul and went up against the odds
I was too young to know you were doing it right
and you did it with the strength that belonged to the gods."

(which is no less soppy)

"Sara" is the "Ballad in Plain D" of the seventies... Or maybe the "Boots of Spanish Leather", of which Suze Rotolo commented that it annoyed her that he was using their personal experiences for a public song and sung it up and down the Village, where then people got angry with her because she was so ugly to poor Bobby and left him all alone going off to Italy.

It was still my favorite song on Desire though.


A lovely tune with a problematic lyric. Oh, phooey, it's a cringe-worthy lyric, way below Dylan's usual standard. Too bad, because Levy wrote a lot of pointless stuff for Desire but the two included Dylan-only lyrics are just awful. This is the one album where I will agree that the omitted songs were easily better than the included ones. The Bootleg performance is pretty fine until the lyric chokes it ("belonged to the gods", oh my).


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 15:04 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 29th, 2013, 18:23 GMT
Posts: 529
Location: helsinki rock sity
Mutabor wrote:
"Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
where you fought for my soul and went up against the odds
I was too young to know you were doing it right
and you did it with the strength that belonged to the gods."


Yeah, that really pushes it even closer to the edge... It just comes off as a pretty cringe-y description of outdoors sex to me, maybe because there's a very well-known 80s rock hit in my country with lyrics like "when we make love, even the gods fall silent" that I always think of when I hear those lines. It's not a great association.

And still, in the context of the live performance I kind of go with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 16:03 GMT 

Joined: Fri March 6th, 2009, 01:56 GMT
Posts: 1299
Mutabor wrote:
Soylent Green Preservation Society wrote:
"Sara" is a most Dylanesque song, I think. I can't decide which way to go with it - is it a slightly embarrassing and thus disarmingly honest song, or some kind of joke? It's like, the lyrics are so ridiculous, the lines like -

"sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life" &

"glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow"

- jeez, writing something like this for/about your wife. Not to mention recording it. Performing it in public! Oh, god. It's got to be in jest or some clever wordplay... And yet. Heavy with personal context, the naff metaphors and similes pile up on each other, like he's desperately grasping at any words to reach her, and the vocal delivery is absolutely dead-serious and heart-wrenching. He sounds honest and vulnerable. I don't really want to doubt his intentions. It's awkward listening to this song. It almost hurts. It's one of his best in my opinion, but I also don't listen to it that often because it usually makes me cringe and cry simultaneously.


I agree it is akward, and on the live performances 75 it went:

"Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
where you fought for my soul and went up against the odds
I was too young to know you were doing it right
and you did it with the strength that belonged to the gods."

(which is no less soppy)

"Sara" is the "Ballad in Plain D" of the seventies... Or maybe the "Boots of Spanish Leather", of which Suze Rotolo commented that it annoyed her that he was using their personal experiences for a public song and sung it up and down the Village, where then people got angry with her because she was so ugly to poor Bobby and left him all alone going off to Italy.

It was still my favorite song on Desire though.


People defended Bob for "Ballad in Plain D"? Jesus.


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 19:17 GMT 
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Soylent Green Preservation Society wrote:
Mutabor wrote:
"Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
where you fought for my soul and went up against the odds
I was too young to know you were doing it right
and you did it with the strength that belonged to the gods."


Yeah, that really pushes it even closer to the edge... It just comes off as a pretty cringe-y description of outdoors sex to me, maybe because there's a very well-known 80s rock hit in my country with lyrics like "when we make love, even the gods fall silent" that I always think of when I hear those lines. It's not a great association.

And still, in the context of the live performance I kind of go with it.


Those words sound like the description of a person "wrestling" with an enemy for another, as in certain prayers, or similar to the vigilance of a mother over a feverish child. Something to overcome on behalf of, or because of.

That's not to say that in the context, part of the "fighting for" didn't include the physical...but "with a strength that belonged to the gods", in other words, struggling with or for him on a higher level, and those lines seem full of thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 21:20 GMT 

Joined: Tue November 13th, 2012, 17:27 GMT
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Belle Laugh wrote:
Those words sound like the description of a person "wrestling" with an enemy for another, as in certain prayers, or similar to the vigilance of a mother over a feverish child. Something to overcome on behalf of, or because of.



that's what I hear too. And I don't even think there's anything wrong with describing it and with the whole lyrics. Except! When the notoriously private artist who freaks out when anybody dares ask anything personal all of a sudden comes up with the very personal. It smells very "come on now Sara, look how I stand by you in all public and am so moved by my own sentiments for you - don't make a fuss and go back to cooking and sewing, make some flowers grow instead counting my mistresses". :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Track Talk 409 Sara
PostPosted: Sat February 1st, 2014, 21:30 GMT 
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The scoundrel!







That's about as cynical as you can get.


So the 'cook and grow' lyrics can be taken at face value, but these particular words are some kind of sinister ploy?


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