Sara (Fleetwood Mac song)

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"Sara"
Sarafleetwoodmac.jpg
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Tusk
B-side"That's Enough for Me"
ReleasedDecember 5, 1979
Format7" single
Recorded1978–1979
Length6:26
4:37 (Edit)[1]
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Stevie Nicks
Producer(s)Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
"Tusk"
(1979)
"Sara"
(1979)
"Not That Funny"
(1980)

"Sara" is a song written by singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac as a single from the 1979 Tusk double LP. The vinyl album version is 6:22 minutes and the edited version is 4:41 minutes. The song peaked at No. 7 in the US for three weeks, No. 37 in the UK for two weeks, No. 11 in Australia and No. 12 in Canada.

Origin[edit]

Canoe.com states that the song is about an aborted child Nicks had with then-boyfriend Don Henley.[2] Henley himself has suggested this to be the meaning of the song.[3] In a 1979 interview Nicks said, "If I ever have a little girl, I will name her Sara. It's a very special name to me." Nicks later said in a September 2014 interview with Billboard magazine: "Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara... It's accurate, but not the entirety of it."[4][5]

In his 2014 autobiography, Mick Fleetwood suggested that the song referred to an affair which ended his own relationship with Nicks. Fleetwood and Nicks had been involved in a romantic relationship in the late 70s. Although the relationship was not exclusive on either side, Fleetwood states that Nicks became upset when Fleetwood began a relationship with her best friend, Sara. This relationship effectively ended the romance between Nicks and Fleetwood.

The lyrics, "and he was just like a great dark wing/within the wings of a storm" refer to Fleetwood being an emotional comfort zone for Nicks following her breakup with Lindsey Buckingham.[6]

Plagiarism suit[edit]

In 1980, the year after the song was released, Nicks was sued for plagiarism by a songwriter who had submitted a song called "Sara", which she had sent to Warner Bros., Fleetwood Mac's recording label, in 1978. Nicks defended the lawsuit by proving that she had written and recorded a demo version of the song in July 1978, before the lyrics were sent to Warner. The case was dropped and the complainant accepted that no plagiarism had occurred.[7]

Versions[edit]

The version of the song featured on the original vinyl release of Tusk was the unedited 6:22 version, but when Tusk was originally released as a single compact disc in 1987 it featured the edited version which leaves out the middle verse and musical bridge. It was not until the 1988 Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits compilation was released that the 6:22 version of the song became available on compact disc.

There is also a version known as "the cleaning lady" edit, so-called as Nicks is heard at the beginning of the demo recording, "I don't want to be a cleaning lady!" This version lasts almost nine minutes and was released on the 2-disc remastered version Tusk in March 2004. It contains an extended vamp, which includes excised lines previously only heard in live performances, such as, "and the wind became crazy," "no sorrow for sorrow, you can have no more," and "swallow all your pride, don't you ever change—never change."

On November 5, 2015, a live version was released as part of a remastered Tusk. This recording features a heavier hitting drum beat from Fleetwood.[8]

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1979/1980) Position
Australian (Kent Music Report) 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 14
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[10] 12
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[11] 3
German Singles Chart 44
French Singles Chart 31
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 12
South African Singles Chart 18
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 7
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[16] 13

Usage in media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Everett, Walter (May 2010). "'If you're gonna have a hit': Intratextual mixes and edits of pop recordings". Popular Music. 29 (2): 244. JSTOR 40926920.
  2. ^ Stevenson, Jane (2004-11-30). "Inside Don Henley". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  3. ^ "Fleetwood Mac". Bla.fleetwoodmac.net. Retrieved 2014-05-24. Years later, Henley had this to say about his affair with Nicks: "[Stevie had] named the unborn kid Sara, and she had an abortion." She then wrote the song of the same name (which became a huge hit for her) and, according to Henley, dedicated it "to the spirit of the aborted baby"
  4. ^ "Stevie Nicks on Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, and Don Henley - Billboard". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Stevie Nicks confirms she wrote hit song about baby she aborted with Don Henley". LifeSiteNews.
  6. ^ Fleetwood, Mick; Bozza, Anthony (2014). Play On: Now, Then & Fleetwood Mac: The Autobiography. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-444-75325-7.
  7. ^ White, Timothy (September 3, 1981). "With Her New Solo Album, Fleetwood Mac's Good Fairy Tries to Balance Two Careers - and Two Personalities". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  8. ^ Grow, Kory (2015-11-05). "Hear Fleetwood Mac's 'Real Pretty' Live 'Sara' From New 'Tusk' Box Set". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Fleetwood Mac – Sara" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9470a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9489." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Fleetwood Mac – Sara" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Fleetwood Mac – Sara". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "Fleetwood Mac: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.

External links[edit]