Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pretty Saro

Man must leave woman
Whom he can't afford. He dreams
About her and moans.

"Pretty Saro" is an 18th-century English ballad that survived among in the Appalachian mountain region of America. Dylan recorded it in 1969 or 1970 during his sessions for the albums "Self-Portrait" and "New Morning," but it went unreleased until it appeared in 2012 on the 10th volume of the Bootleg Series. It's one of his most tender vocal performances, making a sad song even sadder. The gist: poor man loves Sarah, but she would prefer a freeholder with house and land. He knows he can't afford what she wants, so he can't have her. He wishes he were a poet so he could write her a poem that would make her fall in love with him, but he can't write a poem, so he wanders the riverbank and dreams of Sarah wherever he goes.

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