What does You're So Vain mean?

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Carly Simon: You're So Vain Meaning

Song Released: 1972


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You're So Vain Lyrics

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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 on the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your...

  1.  

    musiclova
    click a star to vote
    Jun 17th, 2016 6:43am report


    I know this song is pretty obvious as far as the meaning, but there are a few subtle and relatable parts of the song that make thinking about what she's saying worthwhile:
    "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..."
    She begins the song by setting the scene of a cocky and fashionable man walking in to a party as if it's a prestigious place, showing he thinks very highly of himself. He obviously pays attention to the way he is perceived. She does a fabulous job of explaining to him his narcissism.


    "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?"
    When I was little, this didn't make sense to me, because obviously the song is about him. But what she means is that he thinks it about him, when its about more than that. He thinks everything is about him, but he doesn't realize the effect he's had on her, and how he hurt her. He doesn't consider this, because he's too focused on himself. This is not about him, this is about making him see what he's done to her. Shes also pointing out cynically that he this this song, like everything else, is about him, as though he is the center of the solar system.

    "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"
    She's telling him that she was too naive when she fell in love with him to see his obvious issues (like the girls above dreaming they'd be his partner). She says she was naive for that reason, but also because she trusted him. He gave her away along with other things he loved presumably because he cant find room to care about anything, because he's so full of himself.

    "I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
    Clouds in my coffee, and..."
    She had dreams of her living happily with him, but she soon "woke up" ("in my coffee"), and her dreams were extinguished

    "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?"
    Same as above

    "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?"
    Same as above

    "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"
    This part is particularly relatable in my opinion because who doesn't know someone like this, someone who is perfect at everything, which only adds to their cockiness. I can almost feel her wish for him to, just once, not win at everything. He is rich (of course), and he treats himself to see amazing sights, and there is a sense that he believes he deserves the best of everything.

    "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..."
    Here is the key point of the song because shes explaining the extent of his selfishness, and that he truly can't love or care about anyone, because he cares solely about himself.

    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?
    Same as above



  2.  

    meanster
    click a star to vote
    Mar 21st, 2013 3:16am report


    Don't forget to throw Mick Jagger into the mix. Rumour has it that he flew his Lear jet up to Halifax, N.S in '71 to catch the "total eclypse of the sun"!



  3.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 13th, 2012 6:44pm report


    I believe Carly was singing about the infamous ladies man Warren Beaty, whom she dated before the song. Warren was very narcissistic before Annette Benning stole his heart



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 18th, 2011 4:45pm report


    People think the song is about her ex lover James Taylor, but it was written about David Geffen.




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