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Throwback: 'You're So Vain'

Today in 1973: Carly Simon soars to No. 1


Ever since "You're So Vain" topped the pop charts 44 years ago today on January 6, 1973, you probably think this song is about Warren Beatty, Carly Simon's one-time lover. Or James Taylor, her newlywed husband at the time. Or Mick Jagger, who sang backup.

The guessing game over the decades has also included former flames and flings like David Bowie, record label impresario David Geffen, and David Cassidy at the peak of his "Partridge Family" stardom.

In last year's memoir "Boys in the Trees" Simon, now 71, finally revealed that Beatty was indeed the inspiration for the second verse, when she was "still quite naïve" and saw clouds in her coffee. The other verses are more like an ode to a mash-up of men she's known.

"There's not an iota of hate in it," Simon says of her signature hit, which was No. 1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. "There may be much more of an iota of feeling hurt or rejected…. I was definitely a romantic and my hopes were dashed. That led to the song."

And boundless speculation.

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images