Finally, the real secret of “You’re So Vain”
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…
YOU’RE ROMAINE, YOU PROB’LY THINK THIS SALAD’S ABOUT YOU!
ROMAINE, I BET YOU THINK THE SALAD’S ABOUT YOU, DON’T YOU?
Blog 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….
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