“Abandoned Love” is a song written by Bob Dylan, recorded on July 31, 1975, but not released until 1985, on his compilation album Biograph. It was written during Dylan’s breakup with his then-wife Sara Lownds.
I don’t think Dylan has ever been as candid and raw as he was on this ‘unreleased’ track from the Desire recordings. It shows a very dark, depraved and dissociated side of Dylan. Abandoned Love is a bipolar-esque running commentary of Dylan’s inner turmoil and conflicting emotions. It’s as though he hasn’t had time to process his feelings about his breakup with Sara. His malaise is juxtaposed with very benevolent lines like ‘My heart is telling me, I love you still’ but that tenderness is shortcoming due to his apparent willingness to cause emotional harm.
I cannot think of hearing a more vulnerable Dylan than in Abandoned Love where he is so clearly ‘struggling’ to grapple with his emotions and inner demons.
I still regard it a wondrous and ‘essential’ song in Dylan’s canon, but I can understand his reluctance to release it on Desire.
Here is an audio recording of Bob Dylan singing Abandoned Love live:
1975-07-03 Abandoned Love NY The Other End – The Bard