For fans of 70’s singer Carly Simon, the greatest mystery never solved has been who she was singing about in her hit single, “You’re So Vain.” The man at the heart of the song is convinced he’s the center of her and everyone’s universe, so self-involved that he’ll be convinced the song is about him.
The beauty of the song was that it could apply to any and all men who were famous in the ’70s, and a string of them were believed to be the target: Mick Jagger (although he sang back-up on the song); record company executive David Geffen; actor Warren Beatty; singers Cat Stevens or David Bowie; and actor/singer David Cassidy were among the leading cads.
A few years back, the rumour was that Simon was going to auction off the truth to the Great Musical Mystery, nearly 40 years after it began. The name at the top of the list at the time was Geffen, who was the head of Elektra Records at the time Simon was signed there and released the song.
Apparently, that, too, was misdirection.
In an interview with People magazine, Simon has finally, once and for all, declared the subject of the song to be actor and one-time most eligible (and never-to-be-tamed) bachelor Warren Beatty.
Not a bad choice, eh?
Here he is today, with his wife of 23 years, Annette Bening:
To be clear, it’s only the second verse of the song that’s about Beatty. The song is actually about three men in total, Simon said.
“I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren,” she told the magazine. She added, however, that “Warren thinks the whole thing is about him!”
Here’s the second verse:
You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well 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…
As for the other two men? She’s not telling. Yet.
Are there any other remaining mysteries in music? Any songs whose star is shrouded? Let us know!