Who Carly Simon is singing about in the iconic 1972 song, You’re So Vain, is a question that has long fascinated people.

But there’s another mystery. Why does she mention Nova Scotia in the song?

While Simon has said the song is about three men, one of whom is actor Warren Beatty, the question of who flew their “Learjet up to Nova Scotia, to see the total eclipse of the sun” has never been resolved.

In Nova Scotia, the tale that’s come to be viewed as truth is that it was Beatty. The thinking goes that his mother grew up in Nova Scotia — which is true — so the eclipse line must be about Beatty.

Not true, says Simon.

While she concedes the song’s infamous chorus is about Beatty — “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you” — the truth is far simpler.

A man and a woman sing together at a tribute concert in honour of Brian Wilson.
David Crosby and Simon perform during “An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson” concert in 2001 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. (Stephan Chernin/The Associated Press)

“I needed something with an ‘ah’ round Sar-a-to-ga, No-va Sco-tia. It’s got a nice rhyme scheme,” she told CBC News by telephone from her home on Martha’s Vineyard.

When told about Beatty’s familial connection to Nova Scotia, Simon said she didn’t know about it.

A graphic shows a map of Nova Scotia with the lyrics of Carly Simon's You're So Vain.
(CBC News Graphics)

As for the mystery man who flew his Learjet to Nova Scotia to see an eclipse, Simon said she took certain liberties for artistic reasons.

In her memoir, Boys In The Trees, she wrote that she included details about the man, such as owning a horse or a private jet. She said she didn’t know if those details were true.

Asked if the mystery man flew to Nova Scotia, Simon had this to say.

“If he didn’t, he would have,” she said. “He’s the type of person who would charter a plane just to go to see the total eclipse of the sun. And he may have said this to me himself, that he was planning on doing it.”

Simon has never been to Nova Scotia, but she has added incentive to visit the province — one of her two children moved here earlier this year.

Singer Carly Simon is shown on stage with an acoustic guitar and her two adult children, one of whom is playing an acoustic guitar.
Simon, centre, performs with her children, Sally Taylor and Ben Taylor, at the Orpheum Theater in Boston in 2005. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

“I hold Nova Scotia at least a little bit responsible for succeeding in luring [my grandson] and his family, my daughter and her husband to Nova Scotia,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think you should leave your grandmother in the lurch like that. I’m gonna have to write a song about that.”

Simon said she has a fear of flying, which makes getting to Nova Scotia a bit more complicated.

With mostly sunny skies expected, Nova Scotia will offer prime viewing points for Monday’s eclipse, said CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.

He said people looking for a total eclipse will need to be in the northern tip of Cape Breton, in the communities of St. Margaret Village, Bay St. Lawrence and Meat Cove.

A women with long brown curly hair signs autographs at a record store in New York City in a 1978 photo.
In this 1978 photo, Simon, right, autographs records at E. J. Korvette in New York City. (Marty Lederhandler/The Associated Press)

Simon won’t be taking it in from Nova Scotia, but she does have plans for the day.

“I plan to dance naked under the sun, which won’t be there,” she said with a laugh.


Source link