Carly Simon reveals famous song’s missing verse


How revealing is the missing verse of “You’re So Vain”? Image by Alan Light. Creative Commons

The verse that didn’t make the cut. “You’re So Vain”’s lost verse sees light of day for the first time

Carly Simon’s song You’re So Vain has been the cause for debate since its release in 1972. The mystery surrounding the song’s subject is still, well, a mystery. The singer has only revealed that part of the song is about actor Warren Beatty.

What the singer has revealed is a fourth verse. The revelation comes in a new BBC documentary, which sees Simon perform sitting at her home piano. She explains: “This is a verse I haven’t ever sung… It never made it into the song”.

The lyrics stick to the damning theme, and read:

“A friend of yours revealed to me / That you’d love me all the time
[You] kept it a secret from your wives / You believed it was no crime.
You called me once to ask me things / I couldn’t quite define
Maybe that is why I have tried to dismiss you / Tried to dismiss you”.

Unfortunately, the new verse doesn’t reveal the subject, or subjects, of the song. It is one of music’s best kept secrets, not even Simon’s manager from the 1970s, Arlyne Rothberg, knows who the song is about. Rothberg said: “We never talked about it at all”.

The BBC documentary will be broadcast on BBC Four at 10pm on 5 May.

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