In Still on the Road: The songs of Bob Dylan 1974–2006, author and Dylan scholar Clinton Heylin states, "'If You See Her, Say Hello' has been written down with the ink still went from last night's tears."
The statement comes across a bit melodramatic, but still it accurately captures the feeling of raw emotionality in this song, which many Dylan fans consider to be among the very best of his career.
In the song, Dylan sings about a woman he's lost after suffering a "falling-out." He's hurt, but there's no anger or vindictiveness, and he wishes her the best in life.
Whatever makes her happy, I won't stand in the way
Blood in the Tracks was made in the aftermath of Dylan's divorce from Sara Lownds, and it's easy to tie those feelings into this song, even if the lyrics don't seem to be literally autobiographical.
Dylan initially recorded this song in New York in September, but he reworked and rerecorded it a few months later in Minneapolis. The final version was put down on December 30, 1974, at Sound 80 recording studio.
The song has no bass because bass player Bill Peterson had to leave the studio for personal business.
Bill Berg played drums on this track. Dylan loved what he heard and asked Berg to be his drummer for an upcoming European tour. For reasons unknown, Berg declined.
Leave it to Dylan to get an exotic locale in his lyric:
If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangier
Tangier is a city in northwestern Morocco.