Bob Dylan – Pretty Saro

Lyrics:

Down in some lone valley
In a sad lonesome place
Where the wild birds do all
Their notes to increase

Farewell pretty Saro
I bid you Adieu
But I dream of pretty Saro
Wherever I go

Well my love she won’t have me
So I understand
She wants a freeholder
Who owns a house and land

I cannot maintain her
With silver and gold
And all of the fine things
That a big house can hold

If I was a poet
And could write a fine hand
I’d write my love a letter
That she’d understand

And write it by the river
Where the waters overflow
But I dream of pretty Saro
Wherever I go

Pretty Saro (Roud 417) is an English folk ballad originating in the early 1700s.[1] The song died out in England by the mid eighteenth century but was rediscovered in North America in the early twentieth century where it had been preserved in the Appalachian Mountains through oral traditions.[2] The work of Cecil Sharp is credited for keeping songs such as Pretty Saro and others, alive well into modern times.

During his Self Portrait sessions in March 1970 at Columbia Records’ New York studio, Bob Dylan ran through “Pretty Saro” six consecutive times. While none of those versions made the final cut for the album, the song remained in Columbia’s vault, until it was released on Another Self Portrait, a 35-track box set of songs cut for Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning.[3]

 

Bob Dylan recorded this English folk song over six times for Columbia in 1970. This track would not be released until 2013 on the Bootleg Series, Vol. 10, “Another Self Portrait.” Watch the official music video for “Pretty Saro” now.

 

 

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