Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Change of Pace - Music

I was listening to oldies radio the other day and a song from the early 70's came crashing through the mental fog associated with driving home after a long day. The song was Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" and I was reminded of the problem I had with the song when it came out. Perspective.

Here are some of the words to remind you of the song:

Lyrics by: Carly Simon
Music by: Carly Simon

You walked into the party

Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed
That they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and....
You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

I still remember that I never understood the words--

I'll bet you think this song is about you

Because, it seemed pretty obvious to me, at the time, that the song was about the person walking into the party, and flying to Nova Scotia to see the eclipse. I mean who else is it about?

And what in the world is gavotte? Ever wonder that? An old French dance?

As I listened to the song though the other day, and I know I had not really thought too deeply about it in over 30 years, it suddenly dawned on me who the song is about. It is about the writer (Carly). It is a matter of perspective which was getting in the way of recognizing that.

I went to a site that has a discussion board about the song, just to see if I was potentially right. And here is what I found:

The song ultimately is about her and how she was used. The irony is that the vain person is only going to hear how it's about him because that's the essence of vanity-that everything revolves around "you." I still think that vain person's a single guy. If so, couldn't someone just figure out who owned a horse that raced at Saratoga or went to see an eclipse in Nova Scotia unless that's altered.

Suspicion confirmed! And so the song is really very deep.

How many times do we read or see or hear something and think it is about us when in reality someone is trying to tell us something about themselves in the context of our relationship with them--only we don't hear it? We're too busy being about ourselves. Because our world is all about us.


Jeremy Doan said...

Not to totally poop on your theory here. Uhhh the song is about Mick Jagger. She said so on her VH-1 unplugged performance about 4 years ago. It was on and everything. But your theory is nice.

Jeremy Doan said...

It's about Mick Jagger. Carley cam out and said as much on her VH-1 unplugged show about 4 years ago. It was on and everything.

Bob Doan said...

But you miss the point. While the unnamed person may be Mick Jagger--look deeper and see who the song is really aobut. It is about hthe singer and the impact the unnamed subject (Mick possibly) had on her.

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