Santa Fe

Album: The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3: Rare & Unreleased (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • "Santa Fe" is an outtake from The Basement Tapes sessions, recorded in autumn 1967, most likely at the house known as Big Pink in West Saugerties, New York. It and "Quinn The Eskimo" were recorded during the sessions but not released on the album. "Santa Fe" didn't see the light of day until 1991.
  • Santa Fe is of course most well known as the capital of New Mexico. In the early days of the United States it was also the name of a trail that was used heavily for commerce in Mexico and in the southwestern and midwestern United States.

    The way the lyrics are written, Santa Fe may even be a woman's name. It's not terribly important because this is one song Dylan clearly wasn't hiding any deep meaning behind. It's a fun travel song happy to be just what it appears to be.
  • Even by the standards of the rest of the bootleg-sounding Basement Tapes, the recording quality on this song is bad. Some have suggested it was recorded in Dylan's own house in West Saugerties, as the very first of The Basement Tapes were before moving to Big Pink. Those earlier sessions have been dubbed the "Red Room Sessions."
  • At only 2:10, "Santa Fe" one of the shortest complete songs Dylan ever recorded.
  • At 1:45 into the song there's an audible cut in the tape. No one's sure what the edit was.

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