For more than 40 years, the identity of the egomaniac who inspired Carly Simon to write and record her 1972 hit single “You’re So Vain” has remained one of the most enigmatic mysteries in pop music. Throughout the years she’s dropped hints, such as the fact that the person’s name contains the letters A, E, and R, and excluded potential candidates like Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who sings backup vocals on the song. But finally today she revealed that at least the second verse of the song is about her one-time beau Warren Beatty.
In an interview with People Magazine to promote her upcoming autobiography, Boys In The Trees, the singer tells the publication that, “I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren.” That portion of the song is especially agonizing, given that it details the casual and careless way in which the actor/director/producer tossed Simon aside.
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…
Of course, being the vain individual that he is, Simon asserts that Beatty remains convinced that the entire song is still about him. For her part, she contends that the first and third verses of “You’re So Vain” are actually about two separate individuals, the identities of whom she intends to keep secret, “at least until they know it’s about them.”