Carly Simon has been teasing fans about the identity of the mystery man she sings about on her 1972 single, “You’re So Vain,” for decades, but the music legend has just dropped another clue. In an interview with the BBC, Simon premiered a “lost” fourth verse which she wrote more than 45 years ago while composing the song, but ultimately omitted from the final cut.
“This is a verse that I haven’t ever sung,” Simon told the BBC. “I wrote it a while ago on a pad, but it never made it into the song.”
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Carly Simon’s never-before-heard lyrics reveal that the unidentified man is an adulterer who was in love with her and had to keep it a secret from his “wives.”
“A friend of yours revealed to me that you’d loved me all the time / Kept it secret from your wives / You believed it was no crime,” Carly sang.
“You called me once to ask me things / I couldn’t quite divine / Maybe that’s why I have tried to dismiss you, tried to dismiss you / And you’re so vain.”
Carly Simon has refused to disclose who “You’re So Vain” is about, but she has admitted in past interviews that it is a composite of different men she has met over the years.
The identity of the person Carly sings about in “You’re So Vain” has been one for music’s biggest mysteries for more than four decades, with fans wondering if the narcissist lover Simon sings about is Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, David Geffen, Kris Kristofferson, Cat Stevens, or even Simon’s ex-husband James Taylor. Incidentally, Jagger sings backing vocals on “You’re So Vain.”
Simon previously admitted to People magazine that the man she sings about in the second verse of “You’re So Vain”— “Oh, you had me several years ago / When I was still naïve / Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair / And that you would never leave” – is actor Warren Beatty.
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In a 1973 interview with Rolling Stone, Carly dismissed talk that any part of the song is about Taylor.
“No, it’s definitely not about James, although James suspected that it might be about him because he’s very vain,” Carly said at the time.
“No, he isn’t, but he had the unfortunate experience of taking a jet up to Nova Scotia after I’d written the song. He was saved by the fact that it wasn’t a Lear.”
Simon revealed that “You’re So Vain” was originally called “Bless You Ben.”
At the time, Carly talked about a radio contest in which listeners called in to cast their ballot as to who they thought their song was about.
“Kris Kristofferson is leading,” Simon said.
“A lot of people think it’s about Mick Jigger and that I have fooled him into actually singing on it, that I pulled that ruse. And some of the people think it’s about James. But, I can’t possibly tell who it’s about because it wouldn’t be fair.”
Taylor chimed in that the song isn’t about any of the people who were mentioned.
James Taylor e Carly Simon. pic.twitter.com/3bBOjTikvU
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“There are lots of general songs that one can write, but I like the specificity of ‘You’re So Vain,'” Carly told Rolling Stone. “It’s really a little about anyone who suspects it may be about them. But the examples were really taken from my imagination. I don’t know anybody who went to Saratoga and I don’t know anybody who went to photograph the total eclipse of the sun… I had about two or three people in mind.”
During a 2004 appearance on Live! With Regis and Kelly, Simon dropped clues on letters that are included in the mystery man’s name.
“If I tell it, it’s going to come out in dribs and drabs,” she said.
“I’ve given out two letters already, an E and an A. But I’m going to add one to it. I’m going to add an R in honor of you.”
In 2009, Simon revealed the identity of the mystery man to the highest bidder in a charity auction. According to CBS News, Simon’s secret went to NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol, who placed a winning bid of $50,000. Ebersol had to promise not to tell anyone the top secret name, and he also won a private lunch at Simon’s home, complete with a performance of the song.
Take a look at the video below to hear Carly Simon singing her hit 1972 song “You’re So Vain.”
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]