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Youre So Vain
Song

Youre So Vain

Carly Simon
Album:
No Secrets

Song Meaning and Background of You're So Vain by Carly Simon


“You’re So Vain” contains a musical mystery, who is so vain that he probably thinks the song is about him?


Simon previously revealed that actor Warren Beatty inspired the second verse of the song (“Oh, you had me several years ago, When I was still naive”), but speculation remains on the other men the song is aimed at.


The song was written by American singer and songwriter Carly Simon and released in 1972 and reached No. 1 in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The song was nominated for Song of the YearRecord of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 16th Annual Grammy Awards.


The song is a critical profile of a self-absorbed lover about whom Simon asserts, "You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you."


The distinctive bass guitar intro is played by Klaus Voormann. The strings were arranged by Simon and she plays piano on the track. Mick Jagger contributed uncredited backing vocals 

Long before Simon recorded what would be known as "You're So Vain", the song was titled "Bless You, Ben". The first words were, "Bless you, Ben. You came in when nobody else left off." Simon felt dissatisfied with the lyrics and put the song away until she attended a party one night where a famous guest appeared.


A friend told Simon the male guest entered as if he was "walking onto a yacht". Simon incorporated the words into the melody of "Bless You, Ben" as she was composing on her piano, and the song took on a whole new meaning.


In August 2003, Simon agreed to reveal the name of the song's subject to the highest bidder of a charity auction. With the top bid of $50,000, Dick Ebersol, president of NBC, won the right to know the name of the subject of "You're So Vain". A condition of the prize was that Ebersol will not reveal the name.


In a 2007 interview, Warren Beatty said, "Let's be honest. That song was about me." Simon had said in 1983 that Beatty "certainly thought it was about him—he called me and said thanks for the song..."


Howard Stern stated that Simon had privately revealed to him about whom the song was written after her 2014 interview on his popular radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Stern commented, "There is an odd aspect to it... he's not that vain." He also stated that she had said it was a "composite of three people." Simon confirmed that she has given the names to a few people, including Stern.


After her live performance of the song with Simon in July 2013, Taylor Swift stated that Simon had revealed the identity of the song's subject to her in confidence.


Lyrics of You're So Vain by Carly Simon


Son of a gun.

 

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht

Your hat strategically dipped below one eye

Your scarf it was apricot

 

You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte

And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner

They'd be your partner, and...

 

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you

You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you

Don't you? Don't you?

 

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive

When you said that we made such a pretty pair

And that you would never leave

 

But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me

I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee

Clouds in my coffee, and...

 

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you

You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you

Don't you? Don't you? Don't you?

 

I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee

Clouds in my coffee, and...

 

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you

You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you

Don't you? Don't you?

 

Well I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won

Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia

To see the total eclipse of the sun

 

Well you're where you should be all the time

And when you're not you're with some underworld spy

Or the wife of a close friend, wife of a close friend, and...

 

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you

You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you

Don't you? Don't you? Don't you?

 

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you

You're so vain, bet you think this song is about you

Release Date

1972

Songwriter/s

Carly Simon

Producer/s

Richard Perry

Label/s

Elektra

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