"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon
- Backstory: People have been trying to identify the fashionable playboy in Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" since it became a hit in 1972. For years, Simon told the press the character in the song was just a "composite" of three men she met in LA. Theories about Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, David Cassidy, Warren Beatty, and other guys later emerged.
- Evidence: Simon gave us a partial clue in a rerecording. "There's a little whisper — and it's the answer to the puzzle," she said in a 2010 interview with Uncut Magazine. We finally had the man's name: David. But what about his last name? Was it David Geffen? Theorists said yes, believing she had been angry at the music industry icon because she thought he supported Joni Mitchell more than her. (Back in the day, Mitchell and Simon had similar sounds and demographics, making them supposed rivals like Beyoncé and Rihanna or Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera). As it turns out, Simon didn't know Geffen when she wrote the song, a claim her publicist supported. Later in 2010, Vanity Fair found out another name — Warren — is also whispered in the track.
- Verdict: Simon still has us guessing. Alas, the greatest breakup-song mystery continues.