January 1973: CARLY SIMON - You're So Vain

Mom needed to find a place for me to go before and after school, so she got me hooked up with some of the other mother’s in the apartment complex. This was basically how I made my first new pals, and it wasn’t optimal conditions because it was borne of car pooling to school during bad weather and babysitting, rather than genuine friendship.

I genuinely loved the sound and feel of “You’re So Vain;” it had both a tense and languid tone and the chorus was undeniably great to sing along to... if you could carry a tune.

During the school day, it had begun to snow, getting heavier as the day went on. When school let out, the mother of an apartment kid was standing at the entrance to gather us all up and drive us back home, because the weather was too bad for all of us to be walking.

I saw all the kids piling into this little Chevy Vega, and decided I’d rather walk home in the snow, but the mother made me get in. So now, we’re all packed in tight, with the heater blasting and the windows fogging, while we sat forever in the parking lot, waiting for the buses to clear out so we could move.

And in this physically uncomfortable situation, “You’re So Vain” comes over the car radio, and the mother starts singing along during the chorus, because – really - how can you resist? Problem was, this lady gave “off key” a new meaning; I swear nearby dogs were howling.

After what seemed forever, the mother’s own kid finally yelled out, “Mommy, stop singing!” To which Mommy halts the yowling only long enough to say, “But I love this song!” and quickly jumps back in just in time to bray “Don’t you? Don’t you? Don’t you now!”

For the next year or so, just the sound of Carly Simon’s voice made me wince because it instantly conjured this horrific moment.

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon.


Paul Maurice Martin said...

I can relate! I always loved that song too, but had my own painful moment with it...

In high school I was shy and my best friend's sister, who, in retrospect, was becoming increasingly hostile as she slowly realized that I was never going to ask her out for reasons she couldn't fathom - I didn't look as shy as I felt, and we had chemistry - looked straight at me once when it came over the radio and said, "That song reminds me of you."

Ouch. She had a real point. A certain amount of vanity is involved with shyness - so afraid to look bad you don't take chances...

Terri Jones said...

What a cool blog. I love your memories tied in with each song! Especially the mom singing off key to Carly Simon. I can reLATE! Hope you update soon.

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