The singer/songwriter felt she had been treated badly by her boyfriend, so she poured her heartbreak into her music. The resulting song lashed out at her anonymous ex, accusing him of taking advantage of her youth and leaving her behind even though he swore to stay. The tune was undeniably catchy, spawned a global guessing game as to whom the lyrics were referring to, and she earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the song. Boy, who could ever forget Carly Simon and her iconic 1972 single, "You're So Vain"?
You TOTALLY thought I was talking about Taylor Swift, didn't you? (Don't you, don't you?) If Swift's fame is largely related to the ongoing mystery of which ex she's singing about, she can thank Carly Simon for paving the way over 30 years ago. In a truly meta musical moment, Swift and Taylor recently teamed up to perform Simon's bad-beau hit -- and Swift's praise for "You're So Vain" proves she isn't going to change her own style any time soon.
Taylor Swift was performing at the Gillette Stadium on July 27 when she took a moment to tease the crowd:
Before I bring out my special guest, I have this question that I always, always had, and I think you have probably had this question, too, and always wondered what the answer is. Who is the song "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon written about?
That's when Simon joined her onstage, and as far as I'm concerned, this is the last video of Taylor Swift I ever need to see ever, ever, like ever, because I don't think anything can top the Human Centipede effect of Swift singing the world's most popular unnamed-former-flame diatribe:
Carly Simon has never publicly revealed who "You're So Vain" was inspired by, although plenty of rumors -- James Taylor? Mick Jagger? Cat Stevens? Warren Beatty? David Geffen? -- have swirled over the years. She did, however, confide the secret to Swift ... which is sort of funny, because being just 23 and all, Swift was probably like, "OMG no way! Wait, I don't know who that is."
It's hardly surprising to hear that Swift is a huge fan of Simon's classic song, but her specific praise cracks me up:
When I heard "You're So Vain" I just thought, that's the best song that's ever been written. That is the most direct way anyone has ever addressed a breakup. It's amazing.
HAAAAA. The most direct way anyone has ever addressed a breakup? Look, I like "You're So Vain," who doesn't, but a vengeful tune about a self-absorbed lover that Simon herself has admitted isn't about one person but rather a composite of three men? A song that launched a massive amount of public speculation over the subject's identity, which Simon has milked for decades, even going so far as to reveal the subject (subjects?) to the highest bidder in a charity auction in 2003, and releasing a re-recording of the song that included three names whispered backwards for diehard fans to try and decipher?
Not really the most direct way to address a breakup, in my opinion. But it's a hell of a marketing gimmick, and I'm guessing that's exactly what Taylor Swift finds so "amazing" about it.
What do you think of this Carly Simon/Taylor Swift duet? Do you think any of Swift's songs will have the staying power that "You're So Vain" has had?
Image via YouTube