Wait a minute baby... Stay with me awhile Said you'd give me light But you never told me 'bout the fire Drowning in the sea of love Where everyone would love to drown But now it's gone It doesn't matter what for When you build your house Then call me home And he was just like a great dark wing Within the wings of a storm I think I had met my match He was singing And undoing...and undoing the laces Undoing the laces Said, Sara You're the poet in my heart Never change, never stop But now it's gone It doesn't matter what for But when you build your house Well, then call me home Hold on The night is coming And the starling flew for days I'd stay home at night all the time I'd go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere Ask me and I'm there Ask me and I'm there, 'cause I care In the sea of love Where everyone would love to drown But now it's gone They say it doesn't matter anymore If you build your house Then, please, call me home Sara, you're the poet in my heart Never change, and don't you ever stop And now it's gone No, it doesn't matter anymore When you build your house I'll come by Sara, baby There's a heartbeat and it never really died Never really died Would you swallow all your pride? Could you speak a little louder? All I ever wanted Was to know that you were dreaming...
Live alternate version released on Live (1980)
Demo version appears on the Tusk Reissue (2004)
MUSICIAN TOM MONCRIEFF states:
"Sara" is most definitely Sara Ricor. She was one of Stevie's closest friends at the time (and probably still is). That's not to say that the song is to be taken literally.
I remember Stevie taking both Sara and I to Maui on a much needed vacation, and it was at the time she (Stevie) was "seeing" Mick. Just for good measure, I had a very bad crush on Sara, who had recently separated or divorced from her husband Jim Ricor. At some point Mick joined us there, and it was probably at that time that some attraction between Mick and Sara began. It was a difficult time for both Stevie and I. Some time after that we cut the demo of the song Sara and it was pretty emotional, I can tell you. More rumors.....
BACKUP SINGER ANNIE MCLOONE states:
Here's the scoop about Sara:
(who) The original Sara long demo that is on the Tusk enhanced cd was cut with Stevie on piano and vocal, Tom Moncrieff on bass and a beat box. Tom overdubbed acoustic guitar, Mick overdubbed drums, and I (Annie McLoone) added the harmony vocals. (I've heard a few versions....the mix I have has a duet thoughout....what fun!) The engineer was Hernan Rojas.
(where) The tracks were recorded at Village Recorders Studio D (where Tusk was being recorded) in West LA on the 24-track machine in use for Tusk.
(what) This tape was later cut and edited for the shorter album version, with bass and vocals being replaced, and other stuff added. Lindsey told Tom that Tom's acoustic guitar remained in the final mix.
(why) In this period of their strained relationship, according to Moncrieff, Lindsey was not able to work with Stevie on her demos (but did work with her album tracks, of course). This job then fell to Stevie's long time friend, roommate and bandmate, BN guitarist and bass player, Tom Moncrieff. Tom worked with Stevie for some time, helping her record and put together many of her songs for presentation to Fleetwood Mac. Some of the notable songs he worked with her on were Sara, Gypsy and Sisters of the Moon, and many other songs through to the period of the Bella Donna album. Tom also built and maintained a recording studio with Stevie during that period.
That's the story and now YOUR Sara mystery is solved. I, Annie McLoone, am the one and only mystery vocalist! Tom Moncrieff is the mystery man!
However, why Tom and I weren't given credit for all this (esp. Tom) or on the newly released Tusk cd demo version, remains OUR mystery. :)
June 25, 2004
OK, what does this song mean? I don't claim to know, but I'm going to take a stab at it. Stevie wants someone to be with her, to "stay [...] awhile" - this person gives her "fire" as well as "light." I have heard Mick say this song is about him. Perhaps parts of it are - she was seeing him for a brief period around this time. Maybe she turned to him for comfort, for a little light after what she has called in interviews Lindsey's "darkness", and got a passionate "fire" as well that she didn't expect. But that was brief, and is gone, so that's that. "Building your house" may refer to finally settling down. I'm guessing here, obviously.
I have difficulty with the second verse, because although many consider the "great dark wing" to be Mick, I don't think she's talking about him anymore. So who is she talking about? Either Lindsey or Don Henley, if you ask me. "He was singing" - big hint that Mick is out. Since Don Henley and Lindsey looked so much alike back then, they both seem to fit her vague description! I lean towards Lindsey because she always thought of him as her "match." Now she's applying the chorus to him, he's gone as well, but he can do the same as Mick - when he's ready and settled, he can call her "home."
In the third verse, I'm thinking she's waiting for one of those calls, but she's frightened that they'll never come. She "waits home at night" for them, she'd "go anywhere" - and I love this line - "Ask me and I'm there, 'cause I care." She's ready to come home, all she needs is someone to ask her.
What about the chorus? Who's Sara? This gets tricky. Some say it refers to Stevie's friend Sara Recor, who later married Mick. [Edit: above, Tom Moncrieff substantiates this theory]. However, I still believe another layer that is not outside the realm of possibility that Stevie might have been bringing in a little of the grief from - and I know this is a controversial subject - her aborted baby with Don Henley that she named Sara (if this is true, the "great dark wing" is probably Don after all). This baby is gone, her feelings don't "matter anymore", and she is afraid she'll never have a house or home or children of her own. And I think there is some regret there that she might have gotten rid of her only chance to have those things - and "Sara" is still a part of her, gone or not... "There's a heartbeat and it never really died."
I think this song is about how we balance our own ambition/needs with our desire to love somebody else. The original version of Sara was really long so the band had to cut out alot of Stevie's verses and I think the reason it was so long originally was because Stevie was really confused about the men in her life and herself when she was writing this. So she just vented all of these different feelings she had about the men in her life in an effort to figure relationships out and how she fit into the relationships in her life.
I think that this first verse,"wait a minute baby...said you'd give me light but you never told me about the fire." does refer to Mick Fleetwood. I think she feels that their relationship was unexpected and swooped into her life like the "great dark wing" of a bird. And while she expected "light" (opportunity) from him, she had never expected "fire" (passion).
The next verse is about a very different kind of love. Stevie is saying that she has problems not becoming completely enveloped by love, "drowning in the sea of love where everyone would love to drown." and that is why I think this verse is about Lindsey. This is exactly what she felt happened with Lindsey and what led to their breakup.
And when she says, "But now its gone, it doesn't matter what for, When you build your house, then call me home." I think she is referring to Lindsey and how the whole idea of love has changed for her since she couldn't make things work with Lindsey. She realized that passion and "the sea of love" isn't enough to make love work. She knows now that you need to protect yourself to some extent when you fall in love so that you do not lose yourself and your integrity.
The last part of the verse, "when you build your house, then call me home" shows that she thinks there will be a time when Lindsey will have built a place for her inside of himself that will be happy and safe and she is saying to Lindsey that she will come back to live there with him.I think it is really beautiful and romantic.
The next verse begins with Mick and ends with Henley I think. I think she felt Henley was a very strong partner, ("I think I have met my match") and the image of unraveling layers is very intimate. Only I think that the repetition of the line, "Undoing the laces" suggests a mild indifference to Henley's efforts to get to know her. He tried and tried to make it with her but apparently there was something missing. And I think the use of the word lace (Henley and Stevie's song Leather and Lace) is funny.
The next verse is amazing because it brings Stevie and Lindsey togther.I think when Stevie says, "Sara you are the poet in my heart, never change and don't you ever stop." I think that Sara (who is one of Stevie's friends who married mick fleetwood) is very special to stevie because I think she epitmizes feminity and strength and knowledge of oneself. Stevie believes that there is a part of her, a woman, who is strong and Stevie wants to find her. She has put that as a priority in her life over men and that is why her calling it Sara is so significant. Alot of women are not so strong that they can back away from intense relationships and remember themselves. But her first love is that "Sara" in her heart and she would sacrifice anything for it because it is where her creativity, talent and everything that makes her who she is comes from. She wants to see that part of herself continue to grow inside her because she knows that when it is strong, her love and herself will be the better for it. Stevie has explored the ideas of feminity and strength inside herself in alot of her songs (Bella Donna and Gypsy are my two favorites).
I think that the repetition of the lines, "When you build your house then call me home." Shows how she and Lindsey are on the same track in their lives and that this track is going to lead back to each other in the end. Because her search for that woman inside herself is the same as Lindsey's building a home for Stevie inside of himself. At the end of all their journeys, both of them are going to be the people they know that they can be. Stevie knows that there is nobody else she would rather live with in that home in her heart than with Lindsey. Again, I think this song is so romantic!
I think the night reference in, "I'd stay home at night all the time" has to do with lindsey also. Night is a time of darkness, reflection, intimacy, and loneliness and these are all things that she associates with Lindsey but show that she really loves him. No one thinks that much about someone they don't really care about.
So as she returns again and again to Lindsey as her partner, and Sara as her strength, it is almost like she is telling a story. She is figuring out things now but she sees the end as a time of strength and love. That for me, is what makes this song SO amazing. Because the hard times of confusion Stevie seems to be having at this time, are less difficult because she sees what they are striving towards, and she sees Lindsey back in her life. But this time, coexisting with the "sara" in her heart.
I think this song is about Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, and the baby that was theirs that was terminated. Don left Stevie when she was pregnant, and that's why she's saying "Wait a minute baby, stay with me a while." And I think that she's saying to Don "Hey, you said you'd be here for me...but now that I have this baby, you're leaving? You never told me about that." That's what she's trying to say when she says "Said you'd give me light...but you never told me bout the fire." I think that at the time, she thought she was very much in love with Don, but after he left, she realized that he never really loved her.
The name "Sara" was the name Stevie was going to name her child if it was a girl. I have read diary entries that relate to this. She puts "Sara and I are going to go to sleep now." And "If I have a daughter, I will name her Sara." I think that when she relates to the "great dark wing" she talks about how Don cast that darkness over her life, much like Lindsey, after Don left her alone and pregnant,, making her feel as if she had no choice but to abort. She was on drugs at the time, and serioulsy not capable of handling a baby by herself. And when she talks about holding on, and the night coming, she is trying to make herself feel strong. And at the end, she says "Sara...baby...there's a heartbeat, and it never really died." I think she's saying that Sara was her baby, and that her baby had a heartbeat, and though the baby is dead, she will remember her baby. And that she was hoping, and praying, that all the bad things that were happening was a dream. And when she says "When you build your house, call me home" and "When you build your house, I'll come by." She is saying "Don, when you build your house, I'll move in..." but then as things change...and he leaves her, she says "Don, when you build your house, I will visit." That's just my speculation about the whole thing.
It;s about what Erica said in Sara- She(Erica) talks about reading diary entries where Stevie says things like " sara ( Erica believing Stevie is referring to her daughter) and I are going to bed now"-I have read them as well and those entries are dated in the 1980's- a few years after Stevie wrote Sara and was pregnant- I think the Sara she is talking about is Sara Fleetwood whom she lived with during that time.
In MTV Fanatic Stevie states that Mick was the 'great dark wing' ( that was 'within the wings of a 'storm'- ah is that a sexual referance anyone? And since Storms ( another song from Tusk) is largely about her relationship with Mick F- I think its a clever tie in... Stevie is awfully clever at those sexual referances while not being overt ( again "undoing the laces"). ANYWAY In that episode she also says that the line " when you build your house - call me home" is about Don Henley and she said " yes and I was in it before he finished it!"
The "heartbeat and it never really died " line- I really like the speculation that it is about Stevie's aborted baby ( by the way did Don really leave her when she was pregnant and do we know if it was a girl?) and I can see how it is possible- However I think it might be a reference back to Dreams ( 'like a heartbeat drives you mad") and it was her statement of how she couldn't get away from loneliness or the leftovers of her and Lindsey's relationship.
On the drowning part - She kinda was drowning in the sea of love, she had a string of boyfriends pretty quickly after Lindsey starting with Don, and that probably may have made her feel like she was being swamped, and didn't have much time to "find" herself after the break-up with Lindsey. Also, they took the fast train to stardom with FM, possibly she felt like she had so many fans and "friends" that were false. It seems very similar to the line in Nightbird about being surrounded by "too much love".
This song..gives me chills. In my opinion, this is Stevie's saddest song, and it's also my personal favorite, right up there with Gypsy. The simple piano parts flow perfectly with the eloquent words, and Stevie's voice on this track is at its best. I believe that this song was written at a very dark moment in Stevie's life. Lindsey, Don, Mick...her baby. It's all in Sara. And it's all about Sara...
The song opens with "wait a minute baby..stay with me a while..said you'd give me light..but you never told me 'bout the fire..". I believe these lines are directed at Don Henley. Stevie and Don conceived a child, and Don left her after he found out. Now she wants him to "wait a minute" and "stay with her a while". Maybe not stay forever, but at least stay to support her during her pregnancy..to give her comfort. The fire line really gives it away, because Don is a Leo. The element of a Leo is fire. Now Stevie is
realizing that it wasn't all roses, Don's fire and passion made him run away, made him ruin their chances.
"Drowning in the sea of love...where everyone would love to drown" are some of Stevie's most poetic words. Don has left her, and now she's drowning in the sea of love..drowning is an interesting word. She's saying that love is like drowning, like sinking lower and lower..until you die. In her case, that was what always happened. She had too much love, or she gave too much..she drowned in the sea of love. The words "where everyone would love to drown" are so true. Wouldn't everyone love to drown there? Even if you do drown in the end..if the relationship does end, you still want it again. Every time, Stevie wanted love, although she thought in the back of her mind it
She then states that "now it's gone..it doesn't matter what for" This could be about Don and her, or it could be about their baby. Stevie said that if she ever had a girl, she'd name her Sara. And I believe that despite what others say, this song is NOT about Sara Fleetwood, it is about Sara..her baby. Now she's gone, and it doesn't matter what for. It doesn't matter why she's gone..she almost wants to forget that she had an abortion, saying it really doesn't matter. All she can focus on is that Sara is gone, and Don's gone...and she's alone.
She still wants to be with Don. "When you build your house..call me home" She wanted to have Sara..she wanted to raise her with Don in a home..with a family, like everyone else. But neither of them could do that. They were rock and rollers, they couldn't quit that. I think she wrote these lines because Don Henley was
building a house at the time, and therefore she literally is talking about "his house".
Now she's talking about another one of her failed loves, Mick. "And he was just like a great dark wing..within the wings of a storm" The song Storms is about Mick, and she cleverly places it in this song. She has also said that Mick was the great dark wing, so that is confirmed. He was the founder of Fleetwood Mac, someone to look up to..he was "great" and "dark", and that intrigued Stevie. Now she switches back to Don, with "I think I had met my match..he was singing" She really thought that Don was the one, her true love. Now is where she talks about Sara's conception. "And undoing...and undoing the laces. Undoing the
laces" I believe that refers to undoing the laces of her clothes, I think it's a very subtle sexual reference. Either that, or it could me he was undoing the laces of her soul, trying to learn who Stevie
"Said Sara..you're the poet in my heart. Never change, never stop"..that line is powerfully emotional. That is..truly the deepest thing you could say to someone. That they are the "poet in her heart". Again, I think she is talking to her child, Sara. She doesn't want her to change or stop..even if she is aborted, she never will..she'll always be the poet in Stevie's heart. Then she realizes reality.."Now it's gone, it doesn't matter what for. When you build your house..well then call me home" Sara is gone..and yet she still wants to live in that sea of love..she still wants Don to be her one and only.
She switches focus again, this time to Lindsey. "Hold on the night is coming" means that this will all hit the fan, and she's afraid that Lindsey will grow even more distant from her, now that she's been with both Don and Mick. "And the starling flew for days" is a puzzling line. A starling is a bird. She could be analogizing her and Lindsey's relationship to a starling. Birds never stay in one place for long..they have to be free. They have to fly away..into the sky. Yet they didn't fly..Stevie would "stay home at night all the time" waiting for Lindsey, or being with Lindsey, when she really needed to fly on. "I'd go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere..ask me and I'm there..ask me and I'm there, 'cause I care" She still cares for Lindsey, she still loves him after all of it. She'd go anywhere for him..and do anything for him..she still cares.
She's back "in the sea of love". Notice she doesn't say drowning. She's just "in the sea of love". She's in the middle of a relationship with someone. It might be Lindsey again, or Mick. She states that "now it's gone" and "they say it doesn't matter anymore". It's been a while since the abortion, and everyone's saying to forget it ever happened. Stevie just can't do that. She can't forget about Don either. She still wants her to "call her home".
Now she cries "Sara..you're the poet in my heart. Never change and don't you ever stop". She realizes now that "it doesn't matter anymore". Don doesn't matter, and if he builds his house..she'll "come by". She won't be with him, but she'll still be his friend. "Sara, baby..there's a heartbeat and it never really died..never really died" is the pivotal line. This gives the song the meaning. The "heartbeat" of Lindsey, Don, and Mick's love will always be with her..it will never die. Nor will Sara's little heartbeat..the heartbeat of her own child, her "baby". In this part of the song, you can very faintly hear Stevie sing "don't cry". She's speaking to Sara...telling her not to cry, almost as if she was really born. "Would you swallow all your pride" expresses some anger towards Don. She wants him to swallow his pride, give up his stardom, and raise this child with her. But he can't be a real man, he has to hide and run..the coward. I think "could you speak a little louder" is about Lindsey. Lindsey still wanted Stevie, even after all their heartbreak. But he's not speaking up about it, he can't really admit that he wants her back. She wants him to "speak a little louder"..she'll listen.
She closes the song with "all I ever wanted..was to know that you were dreaming..". She wanted to know what they were dreaming..she wanted to know what Don really wanted in life, if Mick was really happy being in Fleetwood Mac. She wanted to know what her baby Sara would have dreamt, if she was born. And she still...she still wants to know what Lindsey is dreaming. Is he dreaming about her? All she ever wanted was to know...In the 9 minute "Cleaning Lady" version, Stevie sings softly at the very end "smile for me..smile for my darling..smile for my Sara". She wants the listener to smile for her..and to smile for Lindsey, her darling..and to smile for her Sara. Notice that Stevie says "my Sara". Sara is hers..her baby, and she always will be.
This song has been speculated on ever since it was realeased. No one really knows what it's about, but I did my best. I'm sorry if this was too long..but it's such a complex song that I had to take it all in piece by piece. I hope I brought something new to the song, something that no one has thought of. Sara is a beautiful song..Stevie's heart. Stevie doesn't perform this song live anymore, and I understand why not. There's too much pain in this song..too much sadness. If she did try to sing it on stage, she'd probably break down and cry. She couldn't do it. So now she keeps it close to her heart..and only she can hear it now. She can still hear the heartbeat..that never really died.
GREEN OWL speculates:
"She dedicated the song to the spirit of her aborted baby said Don Henley in an interview he gave once, in reference to "Sara". It is also pretty obvious what the song is about because Nicks once said that if she ever had a daughter she would name her Sara. The one line that gives me shivers is drowning in the sea of love because before I even heard about this whole Nicks/Henley affair, I had the image of a womb and the amniotic fluid that surrounds a baby while its gestating. This is echoed in The Tower, which became Goodbye Baby on Say You Will And the sands of time like shattering glass/Went past me/Like a tunnel to the sea. In the 1970s, the preferred method of abortion was replacing amniotic fluid with a saline solution, effectively drowning the fetus in salt water (the sea).
I too think this song is about the abortion of Stevie's child. I believe this song is in memory and dedicated to the child's spirit. I also think that some of the song has to do with Stevie and Don's breakup. "Undoing the laces" I think this has to do with the song "Leather and Lace" a duet by Stevie and Don. All 'n all this song is about Stevie regreting killing her baby.
So many have speculated on this song and I wanted to put in my two cents. For an English assignment, I recently had to do a review on an album and I did Tusk, which had me listening to the album again, which made me think more about "Sara", as I did the first time I heard it. Here's my thoughts:
Wait a minute baby...
Stay with me awhile
Said you'd give me light
But you never told me 'bout the fire
First, I want to say I think the entire song is about Don Henley and Sara, his and Stevie's aborted child. I do NOT think that Mick's presence is in this song at all, despite what both he and Stevie say (Stevie tends to, uh, tell us something else about her songs sometimes...take, "Gold Dust Woman", saying it's about the groupies...then later admiting it's about cocaine in The Making of Rumours). I think that she's calling to Don in these first lines, trying to remind him what they had together. He promised her happiness after Lindsey, saving her from the darkness she felt all around her. But he gave her more, a passion, a love she didn't expect, the fire.
Drowning in the sea of love
Where everyone would love to drown
But now it's gone
It doesn't matter what for
When you build your house
Then call me home
She fell in love with him and she didn't expect to...she was caught off guard and found herself figuratively "drowning" with nothing to hold on to. But that love is gone; he's left her, though it doesn't matter why (Sara?). She wants him back. Does he want her? He needs to "call [her] home." "Home", of course, is significant. She doesn't want him to invite her over, she doesn't ask that he calls her to come by (until later), but she needs him to take her back home...home relates to safety, love, security, happiness, usually.
And he was just like a great dark wing
Within the wings of a storm
I think I had met my match
He was singing
And undoing...and undoing the laces
Undoing the laces
Stevie often took a lear jet to wherever Don was. I think the "great dark wing" is what she sees out the window of the jet. And "he" (Don) is flying her to him, literally and figuratively if he is this wing. The "wings of a storm" could be her ("I have always been a storm", Storms) or love, passion, etc. He was flying her to see him because he had to see her. His passion drew her to him. Why is this NOT Mick? Mick does NOT sing, for the most part and this person is. Obviously, "undoing the laces" relates to a sexual encounter between them. An encounter that usually took place at night, as they were between tour dates or whatever and rarely spent much of their days together.
You're the poet in my heart
Never change, never stop
But now it's gone
It doesn't matter what for
But when you build your house
Well, then call me home
I never realized that she said "Said, Sara"...maybe, Don is calling her Sara, which is why she is later inclined to name her daughter that. When they were together, when he was "undoing the laces", perhaps he said, "Sara, you're the poet in my heart...never change, never stop" because she then says, it's gone, again. "You're the poet in my heart" could just mean that he loves her and the "never change, never stop" is his support for her and her choices. Refrain...
The night is coming
And the starling flew for days
I'd stay home at night all the time
I'd go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere
Ask me and I'm there
Ask me and I'm there, 'cause I care
She says, "hold on" as if she wants to pause time or if she wants him to never let go. If we go with never let go, perhaps they're embracing in the night as that's when she probably would have seen him. "The starling flew for days" would be either the jets that he sends for her or her, herself, flying to meet him. The "home" in the next line -- is that him? Is she saying, I go to him, at night, all the time? She went anywhere for him, flying to meet him wherever The Eagles were playing, wherever he was, whenever he wanted her and she could get away. The last line is almost bitter: "Ask me and I'm there, 'cause I care." He asked her and she would be there in a heartbeat. Did he care? Would he have done that for her?
In the sea of love
Where everyone would love to drown
But now it's gone
They say it doesn't matter anymore
If you build your house
Then, please, call me home
Now, she's no longer drowning in the sea of love, she's just there. She's one of the people who would love to be drowning in it again. "They say" -- I think, here, the lyrics are shifting to the unborn child, Sara. People want her to forget, "it doesn't matter"...it's over, the abortion. The relationship is over. It doesn't matter what happened, how it ended. Then she's sort of begging, adding the "please" when she requests he "call [her] home." Or -- in relating to the baby, Sara, the house is the womb. If she ever builds that place inside of her again, if she ever gets pregnant again, call Sara home...
Sara, you're the poet in my heart
Never change, and don't you ever stop
And now it's gone
No, it doesn't matter anymore
When you build your house
I'll come by
Echoing the same sentiments of above, except this time, Stevie promises "she will come by" when he "build[s his] house." She's not asking anymore.
There's a heartbeat and it never really died
Never really died
Would you swallow all your pride?
Could you speak a little louder?
Obviously the first two words are related: "Sara" - "baby". No explanation needed. The heartbeat would be the baby's heartbeat. Before an abortion, an ultrasound is done to see how far along the baby is and the best method to use. After, especially with procedures that involve a wait (like saline solution, which, as someone else mentioned, is one of the more common procedures of the time), an ultrasound is done also before the baby is removed, to make sure it has actually died. "Would you swallow all your pride" perhaps relates to what she wished Don would have said...maybe, if he had not been so complacent, so comfortable with her decision, able to stay, she would have kept the baby. Maybe she would have been swayed to have the child if he had said something--anything. "Could you speak a little louder?"
All I ever wanted
Was to know that you were dreaming...
I'm sure she wished peace for her child...the dreaming...or is the dreaming one Don? Maybe she wanted to know that he was dreaming of a future for them, or of them after there is no "Stevie and Don". She wanted him to tell her that he dreamt the same things she did...
"Sara" is a beautiful song. They're adding it to the set list for the last leg of the tour, which I'm excited about! It's certainly one of her most haunting songs, one that's definitely debated upon in meaning. Just beautiful, really. And sad.
Ok, my mind tells me this song is probably about many different things, mainly her relationships with Lindsey, Mick and Don, but the romantic in me tells me it's all about Lindsey. So I'll go with the Lindsey perspective in my speculation.
I think Sara is the creative side of Stevie; the poet, singer and artist that she is. I believer the song goes back and forth from past to present and back again.
wait a minute baby
stay with me awhile
said you'd give me light
but you never told me about the fire
I think this is about SnL right around the time they joined FM. Lindsey was always so focused on his music, he wasn't paying much attention to her, she's saying 'wait a minute, stay with me awhile, pay attention to me.' Lindsey said he'd give her the world one day, he'd 'give her light' when they made it big, but she never anticipated all the problems that come with fame, the 'fire'.
And he was just like a great dark wing
within the wings of a storm
I think I had met my match
he was singing
And undoing the laces
Lindsey is the great dark wing. He seems like kind of a dark, intense person, and Stevie is the storm that he's within, so intensely involved with. Stevie thought she had met her match in Lindsey. Wasn't he singing when they first met? Undoing the laces, I think refers to SnL and their physical relationship. Stevie has always been prone to wearing medieval or Victorian looking clothing, articles with lots of laces.
Said Sara, you're the poet in my heart
Never change, never stop
but now its gone
it doesn't matter what for
but when you build you house
Well, then call me home
"Said Sara", this is something Sara (Stevie) is saying to Lindsey. Lindsey is the poet in HER heart. She doesn't want anything, the good times, to change, but it has. It doesn't matter why it changed, it just did. But she hopes they can find their way back to one another, that he'll call her home when the time is right.
Hold on, the night is coming
and the starling flew for days
I'd stay home at night, all the time
I'd go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere
ask me and I'm there
Cause I care
It seems to be common knowledge that even after they broke up and were no longer officially a couple, they were still together a lot in the physical sense. Here, Stevie is telling herself to 'hold on' as in brace yourself, the 'night is coming'. Night, I believe has a double meaning. Night is probably when their many rendevous would take place, after a concert, when they were both worked up, but I thing Lindsey is also the 'night', dark and intense. Maybe after they were intimate, she felt differently about him. The starling flew for days, she was at her happiest and she felt she would do anything for him. She'd stay home at night if he wished or she'd go anywhere he wanted. He just has to ask and she'll be there cause she cares so much for him.
I think 'drowning in a sea of love' sounds just ducky, until you stop to think about it. I think Stevie feels that their love is just too intense, it's too much for her to handle, but it's almost impossible for them to stop it. They do and they don't want to drown in love together.
PS. If I were Stevie and I had written this fabulous, emotional song about Lindsey, knowing I wasn't his favorite person at the time, I'd say it were about someone else too!!
As a small child, I remember hearing "Sara" and loving it, and now after getting a little bit older, I have finally understood it. I know all about the relationship between her and Don Henley, and the lyrics...
"Drowning in the sea of love..."
"Where everyone would love to drown...."
"But now it's gone..."
"It doesn't matter what for..."
"But when you build your house..."
"Then call me home..."
All Stevie fans know about the sensitive subject of aborting Don Henley's child, and I think that the line "But now it's gone, it doesn't matter what for..." means she's telling Don, the child is gone, you need not care why, but know it's gone. And the line, "Drowning in the sea of love..." Everyone knows that Stevie has had her share of men in the past (Mick Fleetwood, Don Henley, Lindsey Buckingham), and as she was surrounded by all these men, I think that she felt like she was drowning in all the love that these men were sending her way. Stevie always said that if she ever had a little girl her name would be Sara, and I think she gave the aborted baby that name so it could mean more to her than just being something she had gotten rid of...This song, tome, is the most saddest of Stevie's collection, and I think she could never really do live without feeling pain..
The song "Sara" is a beloved one of mine. Stevie has said in interviews that the whole first verses of the song where indeed about Mick Fleetwood.
I also believe that the song was writtten about Mick Fleetwood (The Great Dark Wing) and Don Henley (When you build your house, then call me....). She even said in articles that the "Build your house" reference was about Don's house and how she was in it before it was built.
Somehow, I don't know if Lindsey is really part of this song. Sorry if you don't agree, that is just how I feel. I believe she has moved on from Lindsey, she was seeing Don Henley.
After reading all these other interpretations, it brings a little more light to what exactly Stevie was going through at the time. I had always loved the lines about the "great, dark wing within the wings of a storm" and now that I think of it, with all the madness (storm) of Fleetwood Mac and love affairs, perhaps it was Don Henley coming into the storm and sheltering Stevie... like "a great, dark wing".
The "drowning" lines... well, I've always thought those lines were sort of like Stevie saying, "Oh great, I've found love, yes, but far too much and I have nowhere to put it," and she seems to almost dislike it. Which may explain the traces of disdain when she sings the lines a second time. Almost like she unconsciously wrote that and now she's realizing how really true the lines are and basically having an, "Oh, *this* is grand," moment.
I never thought Sara was really about a child until I read a small blurb in Rolling Stone magazine where Don Henley said it was. Before that, I thought Sara was like an alter-ego of Stevie's. Because of the tone of the song, Sara seems to be the Stevie that mourns the losses, writes the poetry and cries quietly over the wreckage of the world. However, now that the idea that Sara was Stevie's unborn child is brought to my attention, it also makes sense that the "heartbeat" was that of unborn Sara and even if she's gone physically, she's still there in Stevie's heart. And since she's not there physically, Stevie can keep her the same way in her mind forever and she'll "never change". And perhaps Stevie wanted Sara to grow up and be the person I mentioned earlier (that I thought Stevie/Sara was).
I basically think that Sara is Stevie and her unborn Sara at the same time now. The song is Stevie's way of lyrically questioning Don and coming to terms that she could have but isn't going to have a child. "Wait a minute, baby/ Stay with me a while/ Said you'd give me light/ But you never told me 'bout the fire" seems to me like Stevie's way of saying, "Okay, you wait a second, we've done this thing but what are we going to do now that something might come out of it?" And "swallow all your pride" is Stevie saying, "Be a man about this, at least tell me what you think before I do something I might not want to." And to me, "All I ever wanted/ Was to know that you were dreaming" was Stevie's way of saying, "At least I have the gratification of knowing what could have been and that my baby Sara *was* here for a little while."
It makes me think that Stevie might have been a really good mother... if it weren't for the drugs and the rock star life. The idea of Stevie writing "Sara and I are going to sleep now" made me smile. It's just a very cute, motherly thing to write in a journal. Maybe, one day, when Stevie's lying on her death bed (and I'm already crying at the mere idea of that!), she'll resolve the mystery around this beautiful song. Until then, I suppose we'll all have fun guessing.
It seems to me that the people who have speculated on the meaning of some of the lyrics in Sara have never read Mick's book. He gives some insight to some of the lyrics. The dark wing refers to his black car he used to drive. She would watch him come up her driveway in it. Sara is Stevie's muse. Read the book. It is worth the read.
It is very obvious SARA is about Stevie's relationship with Mick.It is already very well documented by both parties.I am just SO GRATEFUL she is singing Sara again on second leg of SAY YOU WILL Tour...the song had been missing in action for too many years and was the only MAJOR HIT SONG OFF OF TUSK!!!! I think she was afraid to touch it vocally...lots of high notes! She has pulled it off!!! Good for her and great for us!!!
"Said you'd give me light, but you never told me about the fire." Don Henley told Stevie that he could be good for her, that he'd light up her life, but she had never imagined the passion and excitement he brought to her. The relationship is over-Don is building a house, but she is letting him know she is still in love with him.
This was at a time where many men were moving in and out of her life, that is what "drowning in the sea of love" means. Mick's big dark car pulling into her driveway is the great dark wing. He was also a great presence in her life then. When she met Don, she met her match. He sang to her, seducing her and undressing her. Undoing the laces of her dress, boots, etc.
Sara is her alter ego. This is obvious. When she checked into the Betty Ford Clinic for cocaine addiction, she called herself Sara and wrote "Welcome to the Room Sara". Stevie talks about herself many times in the 3rd person in her songs, as "she", "the woman", "Sara", etc.
"All I ever wanted was to know that you were dreaming"-in her relationships Stevie has always been the dreamer dealing with poetic but very much the macho "highway men" who always thought she was too mystical and flighty. She wants to know that she made a difference in Don's life and drew him into her spiritual world. She wants to know that she mattered.
"The heartbeat that never really died" was their relationship. It is over but it will never be over in her heart. That lyric and the song has nothing to do with any abortion. I hope that this once and for all settles the rumours.