100 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs

From "Just Like a Woman" to "John Wesley Harding," we count down the American icon's key masterpieces

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48. "Sara" (1976)

The most overtly autobiographical song Dylan ever wrote directly addresses his then-estranged wife. It also showed that Dylan could turn on the charm. "Sara" is a love song largely devoted to memories – images of their children at play, the couple sharing glances over "white rum in a Portugal bar" – with Dylan referring to Sara as the "sweet love of my life" in a spare, dirgelike waltz. Late in the song, Dylan pointedly asked for forgiveness but also sounded like a man grown distant and mystified, referring to Sara as a "Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress." The Dylans reconciled for a time, but as the marriage disintegrated for good the next year, Dylan replaced "Sara" with the splenetic "Idiot Wind" in the Rolling Thunder Revue's sets. The pair were officially divorced in 1977.

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