Monday, October 01, 2007

The Circular Logic of That One Song

What's weird about the song "You're So Vain" is that Carly Simon says "you probably think this song is about you" but the thing is, whoever this song really is about is actually entitled to think that, because it has to be about someone. Do you get what I am saying? Warren Beatty thought that this song was about him, but it wasn't, leaving him both vain and presumably embarrassed. The genius of this song is that by never revealing who the song is about, it exposes the vanity of all those who might possibly be the subjects of the song. The song lyrics were inspired by a time when Carly Simon was at a party and saw someone who "looked like he had just walked off of a yacht." Before that, the lyrics were "bless you Ben," but with this yacht guy, she now felt like she really had something she could get behind, something she could really sing about. She didn't know the guy, but he represented a composite of all these characteristics she was familiar with in various men in her life. So, I suppose that is the answer to the age-old question of who this song is about. The guy who walked off the yacht and into the party, he is who the song is about, and what's great is that he probably so obliviously cool and self-centered that he has no idea that the song is about him at all. In the end, it doesn't matter, and I am sure that Carly Simon is really sick of getting asked that question. If you have ever done something and then had people ask who or what it's about if you don't want to talk about it or maybe aren't quite sure who or what it is really about anyway (I think I'm fond of the "composite" excuse), you know that it can be pretty annoying.

Ritalin Tale pt. 4 coming soon. I'm having a hard time coming up with one last Ritalin pun for the title, so any help with that would be appreciated.

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