Who is so vain and why?

To benefit charities on Martha’s Vineyard, Carly Simon will reveal the subject of “You’re So Vain” to the highest bidder.

Lost in the dollar signs, of course, will be the quality of the song. Robert Christgau called it “a record so wondrously good-bad that it eventually overcame every one of my prejudices.”

Christgau continues: Verbally, it is so overblown that I can only assume Simon is parodying her own hubris. Why else would she rhyme “yacht” (in a simile that shilly-shallies instead of specifying), “apricot” (in one of the song’s numerous syntactical awkwardnesses), and “gavotte” (a dance that has been dead for two hundred years) or stick in impossibly clumsy qualifiers like “strategically” and “naturally”? What does “clouds in my coffee” mean? Why does she transgress against colloquial speech rhythms at every opportunity? And who cares?

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