So Vain!

It’s Narcissist Friday!     



You’re So Vain

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?

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, 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 had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, 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?

Well I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not you’re with
Some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend
Wife of a close friend, 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? Don’t You?

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?


Songwriters: C SIMON



Most readers would not remember listening to this when it came out, but Carly Simon was quite popular back in the early seventies. Over the years, there has been a lot of speculation over the subject person of her song, but she has pretty well kept the mystery to herself. She has hinted and several names have been offered; still, the mystery continues.

But we know who this is, don’t we? This is the narcissist!

Let’s pick apart the song a little.

He walks into the party wearing an apricot scarf with his hat tipped. The grand entrance everyone is supposed to notice. And it works, people welcome him and gush over him and the girls wish he would dance with them. But all the time, he has one eye in the mirror. Yes, I am worth all the attention, he thinks. Yes, everything is just as I want it, he thinks. Attention, desire, respect—all pointed toward him.

She was young and naive. She was impressed by him. He said that he loved her. He used her and took what he wanted from her, then pushed her aside as he pursued other things. He gave away the things he loved because he didn’t love them. He didn’t even know what love was. The things/people he had worked to get had no lasting meaning for him. And when he left she remembered the dreams she used to have. Now they seemed forever lost.

But it is hard to let the narcissist go. She continued to hear about his exploits, his great successes. Others thought he was so wonderful. He thought so too. Finally she understands that he must be the most desirable. He can tell fantasy stories about his relationships or betray those who love him, but it’s all about the mirror and the attention. When the sun is eclipsed by his brilliance, he has finally found the place where he belongs. But not even that will be enough. He will seek affirmation of his beauty in new conquests. His hunger for compliments and attention can never be satisfied.

And even if she tells others about him and his cruel vanity, he seems to find a perverse pleasure. She is singing about him after all…

Seems like Carly nailed it!


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14 responses to “So Vain!

  1. I am old enough to remember when this song came out. I loved the catchy tune, loved to sing along when it was playing on the radio. I was young and naive back in those days and had no clue that I was married to a sociopathic, malignant narcissist. In fact, I didn’t even know what a narcissist was until about 5 years ago.

    Now, it all makes sense. And you are right, Carly Simon’s song nailed it.

  2. Ellery

    Getting to know a narcissist in depth is an obnoxious experience.

    My former friend repeatedly complained that everyone she knew was either gossiping about her or out to get her, When I made the disastrous mistake of questioning this paranoid absurdity, she hatefully let me have it. I, a mere average mortal, could not possibly understand what it was like to be her. She ranted about having to work around the intense jealousy she aroused in every woman she met by graciously extending understanding, loving kindness, and compassion. Additionally, she had to gently encourage men whom she encountered to overcome their crippling intimidation of her superior beauty. Usually, all they could do was stare.

    Everything, without exception, was about her. If a friend colored her hair, she was trying to look like her. If a friend bought a new car, she was trying to be like her. Our friendship blessedly and quickly ended when I decided to refute this nonsense.

    This woman could not see herself as the completely ordinary, needy middle-aged woman she was. By questioning her delusions, I threatened her survival. She was quite an eyeopener.

  3. Savedbygrace

    Love this song! It was won of my favourites in the seventies:) but chilling the link you’ve made Dave- It truly is the Narcissist’s theme song!

  4. Carol

    I remember this song, remember singing it to my N ex. It was true about him either way .1) it spoke of him and he was proud to own it 2) he liked to own any and everything famous, so just being the center of a popular song with a jest to it was good enough, as long as I would notice him and sing it to him.

  5. UnForsaken

    The first time I heard this song it impressed me. It has a special quality of truth that really strikes you, especially if you’re thinking of your Narc.

    But – Good Grief Charlie Brown – it’s on a channel we aren’t supposed to listen to in the car! It’s the kind of music that I was forbidden all my life. Because the N is so firm on this one, I’d get more than disapproval if he knew I purposely listened to it. I’m not quite sure what he’d do, but I think he would start to openly lie about me, not just behind my back, and threaten throwing out. I’ve come to the conclusion that the world is not really ending every time they say so, and that if he did threaten this he wouldn’t want to carry it out because of loss of control in the long run.

    Music is one of those things I need to risk for my own soul. Healing comes from the strangest places! Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be free and strong enough to sing aloud again someday. In the meantime, my spirit can soar inside!

  6. Praise the Lord;) The mindgames don’t work anymore. i just get up and walk away. Oh, and to remain listening to narcish drivel only enables the typically unGodly talk. Wow, the Lord does free the prisoners.

  7. Still Reforming

    Oh yes, I remember “You’re So Vain.” And indeed, it fits the bill in describing the narc. Now I’ll have that song in my head all day. Carly went on to also write and sing the songs to a Winnie the Pooh movie: “Piglet’s Big Movie” Here’s a positive upbeat song from that film that I’ll keep in my head instead, to refocus my attention from the narc to the Savior and the family (the “few good friends,” as the song title says) whom He has given me, most of whom are on the Internet at this site and at A Cry for Justice:

    • UnForsaken

      How sweet! Yes, I need this refocus as well. First the reminder of the hard truths we have to deal with, then the reminder of the healing truths too!The combination is powerful.

      You made a connection for me. I’d seen Carly elsewhere before but hadn’t put her name together with her face. Love that sound!

      Thanks for the positive “gift” to unwrap, Still Reforming! When thinking N things is getting me down and I’m needing to feel stronger, a favorite song of mine is “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.

      • Still Reforming

        YAY for good, positive songs! Your reference to “I Will Survive” reminds me of the song I listened to in the last sleep-deprived, gut-wrenching days before my now ex- abandoned us. Because he was so wicked to me (hissing, scowling, accusing) when our child wasn’t around or no one would see, and often in the dark hours of the morning, I took to carrying an mp3 player and putting earphones in, listening mostly to “Overcomer” by Mandisa. If he would try to talk with me, I’d just motion with my finger as if to say, “No, no. Then I’d motion with my finger to write whatever he had to say down.” He never did. “Overcomer” is on YouTube and every time I watch it I still get tears in my eyes, but good tears.

      • UnForsaken

        Thanks, Still Reforming! I’m Sooo glad you are out of that now. Yes, there are good tears in relief. Your idea for coping sounds great!

  8. Penny

    Every morning of my life I make bold, strong coffee. My favorite part of coffee in the morning is adding cream (half & half to be exact, cholesterol be damned) and making clouds in my coffee. I love how it looks when I do that, b/c the way I know I have added enough cream is when it swirls up and makes clouds. So every single morning I sing that line, but then…..then. Then I stir the clouds to make them go away, to make sure the coffee is just right. If I need to, I add more cream, but I always stir it. Always. Somehow that small act of stirring is empowering, and the narc is none the wiser. It takes a little power away and allows me some control. Silly, I know. But it helps.

    • Still Reforming

      I am SO glad that you shared that! I have never, ever understood that particular line in the lyrics until I read what you wrote. Thank you! I even enjoy the mental visual of seeing the clouds and then stirring them away. Sometimes, the simple things like that hold great comfort. After my now ex- left us (and even before), I started journaling. For awhile, as I was concerned about something happening to me, I printed the journal as I wrote. It got to be quite voluminous (and is now into document 5, with each document having 500+ pages), so I decided to stop wasting paper and just keep the back-ups on flash drives safe. When the divorce was over, I took all those journal pages and anything else that really tied me to that time of my life and bad memories out to a burn pile, and I was warmed in the cold of winter-turning-Spring by standing over that burning pile. I still do that. I like to go out to the burn pile and watch things become nothing. There’s something cathartic in it – like stirring the clouds.

      • Penny

        Cheering you, my friend. Bravo, well done. What a fantastic metaphor that you have used for healing, to distance yourself from the control & take charge of your future. the Thank you for sharing.
        Makes me wonder: what have others here discovered as both cathartic & healing?
        Dave? Interesting question, no doubt. If the narc is all about power & control, then what healthy yet powerful things can their targets do to distance themselves & become empowered?

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