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
Whatever made you want to change your mind?
So easy to look at, so hard to define
I’ve heard it said that Dylan was never as truthful as when he wrote Blood On The Tracks, but that wasn’t necessarily truth it was just perceptive. Or when people say Sarawas written for “his wife Sara” – it doesn’t necessarily have to be about her just because my wife’s name happened to be Sara. Anyway, was it the real Sara or the Sara in the dream? I still don’t know.
-Bob Dylan (to Jonathan Cott, 17 September 1978)
The night Dylan recorded the song in late July 1975, Sara, who was already separated from him, stopped by the studio. Larry Sloman recalls, “Dylan suddenly turned to his wife and said, ‘This is for you,’ and broke into the compelling song he had written for her that summer in the Hamptons. No one had heard it before, but Stone and Scarlet and Wyeth picked up the tempo, Scarlet playing some exquisite fills, underlining the melancholy of the lyrics.
-Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon (Bob Dylan All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track)