About The Song

You’re So Vain” is a song written and performed by American singer and songwriter Carly Simon and released in November 1972. It is one of the songs with which Simon is most identified, and in early 1973 reached No. 1 in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1994, it was ranked 72nd in Billboard magazine’s 50th anniversary all-time chart.

For years, fans and media pressed the artist about the infamous hook: You’re so vain / You probably think this song is about you. Guesses ranged from Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson, Jack Nicholson, and Cat Stevens—all previous flings.

Finally, after 43 years, Simon admitted to People Magazine in 2015 that “the second verse is Warren.” Their fleeting New York City romance is summed up in the following lines: 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.

In her 2015 memoir, Boys in the Trees, Simon shares an intimate anecdote to illustrate Beatty for her readers. After staying over with the award-winning actor, Simon told her therapist about the evening to which the therapist responded  “All I’ll say is, you’re not the only patient of mine who spent the night last night with Warren Beatty.”

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In addition to that clarity, Simon also revealed that Beatty isn’t the only sorry subject of the song. But remaining on brand, she told People,  “Warren thinks the whole thing is about him!”

Beyond her closest friends and Dick Ebersol, the world may never know for sure who a young Simon was singing out to in the song. But the endless possibilities of men who still sweat over the song when it plays over the radio are who and what made “You’re So Vain” a classic.