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You're So Vain! Simon Reveals Who Song Is About!

| Filed under: Music Minute


The song is a mystery no longer!

After 40 years of guessing and wondering, Carly Simon has revealed who her iconic "You're So Vain" song is written about.

We almost don't want to tell you. The mystery is what makes the song!

Ah well, it's out there already. The song, which was rumored for years to be about one of her ex-boyfriends (like Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger), was actually written about gay record label boss David Geffen.

The answer came to fans after Carly admitted the name of the Vain person was whispered in the new acoustic version of the song off her upcoming album Never Been Gone. After listening to it, sources say the singer whispers Geffen's name backwards on the track.

So while for years the speculation was that song was intended to be an angry-bitter break-up song, now the lyrics take on a new meaning. Some suggest that Carly is signing about her resentment towards Geffen when he allegedly put more effort into promoting rival star Joni Mitchell.

And there you have it! Not as exciting as you thought it would be, huh?

[Image via WENN.]

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61 comments to “You're So Vain! Simon Reveals Who Song Is About!”

  1. 1


  2. 2

    So true - I love it! Except I probably hate it that you killed the mystery for me.

  3. 3

    She should of kept the secret to herself. Not interesting at all.

  4. 4

    You almost don't want to tell us? Haha, delusional much. This site was like the last one to run this "story".

  5. 5


    My heart is broken lol, i loved the mistery, that was kinda my first question I was planning to ask God, thanx for nothing Carly

  6. 6

    Actually the lyrics make perfect sense now- "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"
    Sounds like it was written about a gay man.

  7. 7

    She should have never said anything, I love the song and its mystery.

  8. 8

    i doubt it, the song says
    "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"

  9. 9

    It does make a little sense, since one of Joni's first albums was called Clouds.

  10. 10

    "David Geffen had nothing to do with Carly Simon in 1972. He ran Asylum Records. She was on Elektra. Jac Holzman ran Elektra and was in charge of the album “No Secrets” and the song “You’re So Vain.”"

    "According to someone who worked on the “Never Been Gone” there are two other names spoken backwards and hidden in the new recording. They are clues. One is Warren. The other, I can’t figure out."

  11. 11

    Spell check your posts, you fucking hack.

  12. 12

    You claim to know/love music so well, Miss P when the most obvious speculation FOR YEARS has been the song was about her ex-hubby (and Baby-Daddy btw), James Taylor. Your info/'reporting' - FAIL again!

  13. 13

    Now knowing that it was written about a gay record producer and not a famous lover makes it seem less interesting. Maybe she should have kept the secret to herself. I guess that is why she never reveled it before.

  14. 14

    It can't be true because then the lyrics don't make sense, it is about a "vain" womanizer, with whom she had a relationship with. I don't buy it.

  15. 15

    I thought it was about Richard Nixon.

  16. 16

    Re: boilermike – but how do you explain he is with "the wife of a close friend" and " you said that we made such a pretty pair, and that you would never leave" did she have a romantic partnership with Geffen? just curious.

  17. 17

    anyone who knows that song should have already deduced it's not mic jagger. he is singing back-up.

    warren beatty would have been way better

  18. 18

    That is such bull, no way is it about Geffen First off Geffen just started his record company Asylum back in the arly `70s which was hardly making money, he only began to get rich when he started Geffen records in 1980 so I hardly think he would have "yachts" and "private planes". Second the lyrics talk about a guy having hetero relationships…."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"……..Doesn`t sound like something a gay guy would say to a woman.

  19. 19

    I have always been a HUGE Carly Simon fan, but can't imagine she would ever think she belonged in the same talent category as Joni Mitchell. I don't think this is right. Carly was fluff pop. Joni Mitchell wrote songs that last. Plus, I don't see it fitting Geffen.

  20. 20

    Classic. Maybe she was scorned cause she wanted him. But he was gay. He could have made an exception as she is a handsome woman. Which made her even more pissed. Love Mick doing the back up vocals on the song.

  21. 21

    Simon only confirmed that the name said backwards on the track was David. Who David is is still open for speculation, and Simon hasn't said it's David Geffen.

  22. 22

    actually it is kind of exciting, becuase it's sooo unexpected. I hate David Geffen, he is a nasty greedy old queen. I sort of wish it was warren, that would be sexier, but it reaffirms my belief that miss geffen is vile!

  23. 23

    Weird–back in the day everyone thought it was about Warren Beatty

  24. 24

    Re: cassieallet – Thanks for pointing that out,

  25. 25

    i peed in a horse once

  26. 26


  27. 27

    Maybe Carly was his "beard".
    I'm kinda halfway kidding here, but think about it.
    He wanted to be appear straight, (Remember - gay wasn't quite as mainstream back then). So, he would act like a womanizer and try to be all macho, re: "wife of a close friend/underworld spy. Even to the extreme of having a pseudo-sexual relationship with a very young Carly, to try to convince her, and him mostly, that he was straight. re:"you had me when I was quite naive"
    All theory, of course, but I could see it happening.

  28. 28

    David Geffen? Makes no sense. First of all, there are allusions to romance and womanizing in the song and that does not change when putting the lyrics in a Geffen context. Second, Geffen ran Asylum (Joni's eventual label) and Carly was on Elektra. When Carly's first two albums were released, she was on Elektra, and during that period, Joni was still on Reprise - no connection. When Carly was recording No Secrets, Joni was recording For The Roses. Again, two different labels, two different release dates - and No Secrets was by far the bigger seller. So your deduction makes absolutely no sense. Too bad you don't know anything about anything.

  29. 29

    Who cares after all of this time.The song sucks!!!

  30. @v@ says – reply to this


    A-ha. She kept mum rather than possibly affect her career. Thanks, Carly.

  31. @v@ says – reply to this


    Her 'Let the River Run' still gives me goosebumps when cranked.

  32. Laury says – reply to this


    Not really. I liked it better when I thought it was about Warren Beatty, the song seemed to make more sense. She should've kept the secret, the mystery was part of the song's charm.

  33. 33

    The British papers and scads of American blogs (including a sheepish VF Daily) that reported on David Geffen’s alleged vanity are now singing a different tune. As ShowBiz411 reports: “David Geffen had nothing to do with Carly Simon in 1972. He ran Asylum Records. She was on Elektra. Jac Holzman ran Elektra and was in charge of the album ‘No Secrets’ and the song ‘You’re So Vain.’ It wasn’t until the next year that Elektra was merged with Asylum. In 1974, Carly released another album, called ‘Hot Cakes,’ on Elektra. Joni Mitchell released ‘Court and Spark.’” Well then! Time to retire Geffen’s new epithet.

  34. 34

    i'll believe it when some one else reports it……ugh

  35. 35

    the song is totally ruined now. no one cares about david geffen. she should have took the secret to her grave.

  36. 36

    Re: clearwatersun – does joni mitchell have a song that's lasted in the public conscience as long as "you're so vain"? didn't think so.

  37. 37

    Alanis Morissette revealed sometime in recent years on a radio show that "You Oughta Know" is in fact about Dave Coulier.

  38. 38

    she auctioned off the secret over a year ago. someone paid alot to know the truth.
    anyway ph you kinda suck dood.

  39. 39

    Re: SammiDe – Please start taking your meds again or at least find out where the caps lock button is. There's no need to troll every site to get first hand info as MSN always has the breaking news before Mario and it's my homepage. Duh.

  40. 40

    Well who wouldn't promote Joni Mitchell over Carly Simon. Joni is an artist and Carly is a hack. How silly the whole controversy is over who the song is about. I guess it was one way for her to get some attention.

  41. 41

    Oh my gosh. What a dissapointment..

  42. 42

    Come on Perez.. You are JUST NOW reporting on this.. This is OLD news my friend.. Sorry but a day late and a dollar short yet again.

  43. 43

    Geffen used to date Cher. He was believed to be straight by the general public back then.

  44. 44

    Years ago Geffen dated Cher. He was believed to be straight by the general public. Maybe he changed his preference or came out.

  45. 45

    wow she gave up the one reason she is still famous…dumbass

  46. 46

    Carly, you're full of shit!

  47. 47

    holy crap, that's one big mouth.

  48. 48

    wow, she really built up our hopes, with keeping it a secret forever… thats really fricken gay…

  49. @v@ says – reply to this


    Re: CruellaDeVil – You're kidding, right? Try 'Both Sides Now', which has been done by so many artists she could have retired on that one song alone. Not to mention Big Yellow Taxi, Free Man in Paris, Help Me & too many to list. Did anyone even cover You're So Vain? (it is a great song, but just saying)

  50. 50

    I'm really disappointed!!

  51. 51

    this has been old news forever read a book.
    i'm from saratoga i'm pretty vain
    but the rhetoric of your post
    is truly wicked vain!

  52. 52

    Once again, these facts are NOT accurate. Do your research!

  53. 53

    totally wish it woldve been mick jagger

  54. 54

    Maybe Geffen couldn't come out the closet back then who knows! Glad it wasn't either of those sluts Beatty n' Jagger, their egos don't deserve it. Yeah the mystery shoulda stayed but despite all that, I believe 'Your so Vain' is one of the best songs ever written.

  55. 55

    A few years back, Carly Simon revealed the person she was singing about in "You're So Vain". It was Wayne Newton. They had dated when she was just new in the business and it didn't end well…obviously!!!

  56. 56

    OK, Google "You're so vain David Geffen" and you'll immediately see that this is a false rumor. False, false, false.

    And Perez has yet to post that. If he were still in Miami among the little people instead of creating Slimey's and Pretty Wo-Man's, and letting somebody else write his blog, he'd have posted about the hoax already.

  57. 57

    David Geffen is gross. He was probably suckin' all kinds of cock while he was dating her!

  58. @v@ says – reply to this


    Yeah, this could be more baloney. Over the years, Simon has divulged "letter clues", and has allowed that the subject's name contains the letters A, E, and R. On March 17 2009, Howard Stern, recalling that Simon had told him who the song was written about, claimed that Simon said it was a "composite of three people."

  59. 59

    Re: VoopyVoop
    "David Geffen is gross. He was probably suckin' all kinds of cock while he was dating her!"
    Except for one little thing: They never dated.

  60. 60

    I was at a charity auction a few years ago and someone paid top dollar to for Carly to say who she wrote the song about. It's Eric Clapton.

    Dead give away - "When you're where you should be all the time, and when you're not your with some underworld spy or the wife of close friend (wife of a close friend)." Remember Clapton hooked up with George Harrison's wife…

  61. 61

    That's crazy b.s., like when they used to claim that you could hear satanic references if you played rock 'n roll records backwards! And why would she have been dating a homosexual male anyhow? BULLSHITSKY!