Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Searching in Vain

Is Carly Simon in the news today? StatCounter tells me at least five people have reached Agoraphilia via Google or MSN searches for "apricot scarf lyric," "wore an apricot scarf," "the apricot scarf some say it was about mick," or some other variant on the theme. They all landed on this post from last year, in which I analyzed the lyrics of "You're So Vain." I'm pretty sure the searchers were different people, because the searches originated in diverse locations (Virginia, California, Idaho, Oklahoma, Massachusetts) as well as diverse ISPs (Adelphia, Verizon, and RoadRunner, at least). Anyone know what's up?

While it's on my mind, I might as well respond to Will's criticism from last year. Will insists the song is not actually about a man but about Simon's own emotional frustration. Why do I resist this explanation? It's fundamentally right, but it also dodges the question. Yes, she's emotionally frustrated, that's obvious; but who got her that way? I stand by my final hypothesis from the earlier post: that the song is actually about a composite of different men, possibly including some leading contenders like Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger. Each one of these self-absorbed men had the same kind of emotional impact on her. Not only does this explanation make logical sense (my original point), but Simon has strongly hinted at this explanation on more than one occasion. Look here, and be sure to read the "FAME" and Charlie Rose entries.

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