Friday, April 23, 2010

You’re So Vain by Carly Simon

Okay, one of the many cultural referential jokes is “Yeah, and you probably think this song is about you. . .” from the classic Carly Simon song and I’m getting tired of NO ONE understanding this joke. I mean it works SO well. For example:

Comment: Where’s the mirror? I can’t get my hair right! I think it’s messed up.
Response: Yeah, and you probably think this song is about you. . .

Comment: All these guys keep hitting on me, it’s so annoying!!
Response: Yeah, and you probably think this song is about you. . .

Comment: Mr. Tang, EVERYONE keeps making fun of me!!
Response: Yeah, and you probably think this song is about you. .

Well, maybe I shouldn’t use this line on my third grade students but anyways, this line is really useful to point out to people not only that they are being vain but also how self-centered they are acting.

“You’re So Vain” is a great song about a girl sticking it to a guy. It’s empowering, fun and has a great swagger to it. Released in 1972, this song captures the change in music from idealized teenage love to discussing more relevant and realistic issues in relationships along with groups like Fleetwood Mac.

In this song Carly tells off a guy and then points out he’s vain for thinking that this song is about him. Wait a sec, that doesn’t really make sense. . .

Oh God, Men, have you every had a conversation with a girl and just gotten hopelessly confused? “So you want me to do that, but you’re not asking me to do that, than why don’t you. . . what?!?”

I’m starting to get that feeling. . .

This song is clearly about someone and Carly chastises the guy she is singing to for thinking it’s about him. So who is Carly singing about? I mean she uses the “you” pronoun both in the chorus and verse, is she just messing with our heads? Ladies, am I missing something because of my male perspective? It’s like she’s making the guy feel bad for all of the crap that the stuff he has pulled and then when he feels bad she says “oh, AND by the way, if you think this is about you, you’re REALLY VAIN!!!.”

So now he feels bad for being a bad dude and on top of that, he’s confused about who she is actually talking about. And if you didn’t think this song was about you than you’re a jerk of a guy for not realizing what Carly is talking about.


[whimper] . . . I. . . don’t. . . get . . . it. . . . .

This song doesn’t seem as funny anymore.

. . . sigh. . .


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Very well done. Simon has said that the song is about a combination of three men, one of which is Warren Beatty. Beatty is quoted as saying, "Let's face it. The song is about me." How vain is that?