Finally, the real secret of “You’re So Vain”

February 19, 2010

USA/Blog Guy, I read a Reuters story saying singer Carly Simon is giving fans a chance to have some fun with one of the great mysteries in pop music, namely, who is the narcissistic target of her classic, “You’re So Vain”?

Anyway, I recall you used to hang with Carly and her crowd at Martha’s Vineyard, and I thought you might know the big secret.

I do, but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

Try me! Oooh! Oooh!

The original lyrics had nothing to do with a person. We were having a beach picnic one summer night, and Carly had this catchy tune, and she jotted down a verse and chorus about the salad she brought:

I bought you for the party, in fact I got quite a lot,

Then I mixed you with tomatoes and, the dressing was apricot,

We served you with some vegetables, I can’t remember what,

And all the greens dreamed that they’d be your partner, they’d be your partner, and…



carly vertical 200Blog Guy, this is the single stupidest thing you’ve ever written. Do you really know what the song is about, or not?

It’s just what I said. Carly wrote the next verse when folks at the picnic got food poisoning from my bad potato salad. I still remember, the refrain for that one was, “You’re ptomaine….”

Are you finished now?

Not quite. Later, when the carry-out Chinese food arrived, Carly penned the third verse, “You’re Lo Mein…”

Stop this right now, Blog Guy. I’ve read for years that the song is about the actor Warren Beatty. Is that right?

It’s close. Carly wrote it about Warren’s sister, actress Shirley MacLaine. The refrain was….

Stop right there! I sense you’re about to go WAY over the line!

“You’re MacLaine, you Shirley think this song is about you, MacLaine, I bet you think….”

Do they pay you for this kind of crap, Blog Guy?

Nah, nobody would get paid to write this….

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Top: Carly Simon arrives at the Museum of Television & Radio’s annual gala in New York in a 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Chip East

Bottom: Simon poses in the press room at the Grammy Awards in a 1995 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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Gotta say, you’ve outdone yourself on this one BG. I was seriously laughing out loud and trying not to choke on the cookie I was eating.

What kind of cookie, you might ask? Why, vanilla of course, it’s so plain…

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

“Why vanilla of course, it’s so plain…”

Dave, I actually laughed out loud at that. A coworker looked at me and asked what I was laughing at.

I told her the OE blog, it’s so insane…

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

After this post, Robert, you are entitled to a wonderfully rested week-end. Top notch!! Like Dave, I was struggling not to laugh too loud!!

Now, off home, to eat my Frikadeller… why, it’s so dane!

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

It’s a good job she can sing ‘cos she has terrible sounding salad recipes.

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Then she wrote a verse about the day the deli ran out of lox for her bagels, “You’re so plain…”

I think we’re both suffering from a case of “I’m so sick of snow, I could puke.”

Posted by kgolden1 | Report as abusive

Perhaps she was writing as Dracula and singing….You’re so VEIN”

Posted by beachbum | Report as abusive

Stephen King is my favorite horror writer.
Why? Because he’s so Maine …
I’m so adjective, I verb nouns.

Posted by zeitgeist | Report as abusive

I abstain.

And now, I’m going home to pack for a week in the Cayman Islands, since I finally got Bob’s credit card information. By the way, Bob, YOU’RE OVER YOUR LIMIT!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

That’s two minutes I’ll never get back.

Posted by amadeopuzzo | Report as abusive

Welcome to our world, amadeopuzzo.

Posted by Billl | Report as abusive

That’s Odd, amadeopuzzo. It isn’t very long – it should only be 45 seconds you’ll never get back.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

To tell the truth Carly Simon’s song is actually about me. You heard me right: It was then and is now about me!
Yes I’m that old but I’m still as lovable and loving as I was then!
Growing up in the environment I did back then (in New York City) I know that there was nobody going to or was even able to love me more than I was able to or going to love myself.
Yes, call me vain but Carly’s song truly was about me!
That said I would just like to say to all you losers out there I love you just not as much as I love me!

Posted by IdiotSavant | Report as abusive

There are a lot of big words to sound out while reading this blog Mr. B. Words like “potato”, “stupidest”, and “the”. That’s probably why it takes two minutes.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Actually, Some old studio musician friends told me it was about james taylor. HUUUUMMM

Posted by jfalk | Report as abusive

I will never look at a salad the same… Too funny!

Posted by KSRN | Report as abusive

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Posted by Finally, the real secret of “You're So Vain” | Analysis & Opinion … | caymantoday | Report as abusive

Well, at least Carly got tired of writing before she (and BG) got to the French bread verse…

You’re bon pain.

Ouch, my head just imploded.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

but at least the pasta salad was a healthy option… “You’re whole grain…”

Posted by DragonChylde | Report as abusive

Nice one, Dragon. Thanks for commenting and please come back….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Excellent parody. How vain does Carly have to be to write a bitter lover song about someone who doesn’t exist? Wow! That’s like hubris-level creative.

Posted by strangename | Report as abusive

@Doc: Who cares? Bob’s over his “limits” anyway 😀

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

The salad bit is funny… hmm… I think I should have a salad for lunch today, since I gorged on a month’s quota of cheese yesterday…… though I must say…. it was top notch and added to my gain!Though i think I am still Plain Jane… :)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

You know, I think this applies to all of us commenters of this blog “you’re all insane..” Hell, more like “we’re all insane!”

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

M… you think?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Here, here M!

No really, pass the alcohol over here….

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Sorry Blog Guy but you’re so lame…
and I think this song is probably about you.

Posted by Ozymandyus | Report as abusive

Pilot, was that the alcohol or the Xanax you wanted? Sorry, I get confused at times…

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

Alcohol. I know meddies are the favorite here but I can never leave my good friend alcohol.

The OE blog is much more attractive through beer goggles.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

and Xanax vodka jelly shots!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Yes yes those are good too!!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

he he he he….

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I dunno, Blog Guy.
What Carly was really thinking on that evening on Martha’s Vineyard with you was:

“You’re a pain … I gotta leave this place now without you”

Posted by slick9 | Report as abusive

Martha’s Vineyard does not actually have any vineyards! I flew there as part of my flight training one time cause I thought it would be nice to get my father a bottle of wine from Martha’s Vineyard for his birthday. When I asked where I could get some wine I was looked at as if I had three heads and informed that four of the six towns on the island are actually dry! I flew home humiliated and disappointed. Damn you Martha and your vineyardless island!!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I’ve been there many times, and Pilot is right. Another little-known fact, there’s nobody there named Martha.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Then why is it called Martha’s Vineyard?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

No I am gonna talk very loudly about Martha, she owes me a bottle of wine dammit!

The airport was nice though. Quite busy for a weekday evening. Got to see a couple of nice King Airs and a few execjets. Good steak and eggs at the dinner too.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

What kinda wine, Mr.Pilot? Red? White? Blue??
Unca… have you had your meds today? You are awfully quiet!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

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