The song has been described as a commentary on the tangled relationships and love affairs in which the band members were participating in 1977-1978, but the final recorded version omitted most of this.
Stevie Nicks wrote the track on a piano, and it was very hard for Mick Fleetwood to put a drum track together for it. He used brushes to make it work.
In 1980, the year after the song was released, Stevie Nicks was sued for plagiarism by Carol Hinton of Rockford, Michigan. In latter months of 1978, Hinton had written a song called "Sara", which she had sent to Warner Brothers, Fleetwood Mac's recording label. The lyrics in Hinton's song and Stevie Nicks' song were similar. Both shared the lines, "Drowning in the sea of love" and "When you build your house, call me." Stevie Nicks defended the lawsuit by proving that she had written and recorded a demo version of the song in July 1978, months before Hinton sent her lyrics to Warner. Eventually, Hinton gave up, accepting that Nicks had not stolen her song.
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 disk in 1987 it featured the edited 4:37 version of "Sara" which leaves out the middle verse and musical bridge. It was not until the 1988 Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits compilation was released that the 6:23 version of the song became available on compact disc. Nicks is famous for hating shortened versions of her songs.
There is also a version known as "the cleaning lady" edit, so-called as Nicks is clearly heard to say at the beginning of the demo recording, "I don't want to be a cleaning lady!" This version lasts almost nine minutes and was actually 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."
Many different versions are available on bootlegs.
- Stevie Nicks - lead vocals
- Lindsey Buckingham - guitar, vocals
- Christine McVie - keyboards, backing vocals
- John McVie - bass guitar
- Mick Fleetwood - drums, percussion
|Australian Kent Music report||11|
Canadian Singles Report
|German Singles Chart||44|
|French Singles Chart||31|
|Dutch Singles Chart||10|
|New Zealand RAINZ Singles Chart||17|
South African Singles Chart
|UK Singles Chart||37|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||7|
Appearances in other mediaEdit
- The song appeared in a third season episode of American Horror Story. The song's lyrics were suggested as evidence that Stevie Nicks was a witch.
- Full song lyrics at Metro Lyrics