'You're So Vain': Did Carly Simon just reveal that it's about David Geffen? Probably not.

OMG, you guys! Stop the presses! Carly Simon has finally revealed the true identity of the dude who was so vain, he probably thought 1972’s “You’re So Vain” was about him! At least, that’s what U.K. tabloid The Sun would have you believe.

Simon re-recorded “You’re So Vain” for her album Never Been Gone, which has been out since last October. In a column that’s been widely circulated today, the Sun notes that if you play the re-recorded tune backwards, you can hear Simon whisper the name “David.” This, according to the Sun, means that Simon must have been talking about David Geffen, the head of her record label at the time.

So is it true? A rep for Simon confirms to the Music Mix that she does whisper “David” backwards on the new “You’re So Vain.” But that’s hardly definitive proof that the song has been about Geffen all along. “It’s just a clue,” Simon’s rep adds. “There are lots of ‘Davids.'” Indeed. The Sun offers no evidence whatsoever beyond that rather common first name. She could be talking about anyone — David Beckham, David Schwimmer, David Dinkins, Dave Matthews, the Biblical King David, my uncle David, that statue in Florence

Simon has dropped all sorts of conflicting hints in the 38 years people have been asking her about this song. Most of those coy bits of misdirection are posted at a handy page on her official website, and now she’s added another to the pile. Reading between the lines, my best guess is that “You’re So Vain” isn’t really “about” any one real-life individual. It’s a song about a character type that might or might not have been inspired by one or several people Simon knew — who knows, maybe including David Geffen. Isn’t the whole point of the chorus that only an egomaniac would hear the preceding verses as a coded message about a specific person such as himself?

One thing we can surely agree on: “You’re So Vain” is one excellent tune. Watch Simon performing it below, then weigh in with your take on this unsolved mystery.

UPDATE: Carly Simon herself seems to have emailed the Hollywood Reporter over the weekend to definitively debunk this rumor: “What a riot! Nothing to do with David Geffen! What a funny mistake! Someone got a clue mistaken for another mistake!” So that’s that. The possibility that “You’re So Vain” is about Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, however, remains undenied.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
‘American Idol’ reveals its season 9 exit song: Will Young’s ‘Leave Right Now’
Black Eyed Peas bring that boom boom pow to NYC’s Madison Square Garden
Ke$ha’s middle-school performance gives hope to gawky tweens
‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ soundtrack details


Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • ralph

    I’m sure the song was about me, even though I wasn’t born until 1974.

  • David Cassidy

    I thought the song was about me.

  • Sue1

    I hate to say this (I love Carly Simon–Haven’t Got Time for the Pain got me through some hard times), but I stopped caring who this song was about a long time ago.

  • Gus

    I always thought it was Warren Beatty

    • Dave

      I heard that too, and I seem to remember that being sort of confirmed a few years ago.

  • Toni

    Wasn’t there an auction a few years ago and the winner got told by Carly Simon herself who the song was about. I believe that Dick Ebersol won and that he could only tell his wife the secret. ( Susan St. James is his wife.

  • CiceroDan

    Does it even matter anymore? Sure she’s a great songwriter but I think it’s irrelevant at this point.

  • Amy Cohen

    It’s about Dave Coulier…like all songs sung by women who keep the subject hidden, he drives women insane!

    • insomniac

      I know that Alanis Morisette’s “You Otta Know” is about him. Uncle Joey will never learn. Lol!

  • UGH

    I guess she was disgusted by the Baconnator at Wendy’s.
    RIP Dave Thomas.

  • amye

    You know that’s absolutely uncalled for and I hope in 40 years someone does more than “put (you) down”, but rather beats your -ss because time happened to move on & you aged.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    My theory, it is not about any one in particular. I think she wrote it about several men which is why when the chorus says, “I’ll bet your think this song is about you” these guys will assume it is about them, thus fulfilling the song’s premise

  • Jean Genie

    So, “Eggsalad”, what have you done with your life? Thought not.

    • Nshi

      Dang I missed it, what did “eggsalad” say ????

  • Jean Genie

    How could you forget David Bowie? LOL

  • cornhuskertom

    “the Biblical King David, my uncle David, that statue in Florence…”
    Um…. the biblical king David and that statue in Florence are the same dude.

    • Simon Vozick-Levinson

      Well, one is a dude in a book; the other is a statue of that dude. Carly Simon could have been writing about either one of those things!

  • wagonmaker

    “A rep for Simon confirms to the Music Mix…” So a rep for Simon confirms to Simon that his uncle David is the inspiration for the song. Yeah, that’s the ticket! At least no one thinks it’s David Duke.

  • overal naakte piemels

    I used to be suggested this web site by way of my cousin. I’m not positive whether this put up is written by means of him as nobody else realize such certain approximately my trouble. You’re incredible! Thank you!

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