Embrace Me, You Child

“Particularly in “Embrace Me, You Child,” there is a very clear-cut picture of my father as a frightening and devilish kind of figure. That’s not the way that I consciously see him, but somewhere in my mind he must have seemed that way to me. I felt abandoned [when my father died – Ed], and I was angry at the thought of being abandoned by him. At the same time as I was abandoned by Daddy, I was abandoned by God, because losing my father also meant losing my faith in God who I had prayed to every night that I wouldn’t lose my father. From the time that he had his first heart attack to the time that he died I used to knock on wood 500 times every night, thinking that my magic was gonna keep him away from death. I feared his death incredibly, and in fearing his death,moved away from him, fearing that I might die.”Carly Simon (567)

The Right Thing To Do

“I wrote it specifically for James [Taylor – Ed]. I wrote that on an Air New England flight coming down from the Cape.”Carly Simon (567)

You’re So Vain

“I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren [Beatty – Ed]. [The other verses refer to two other men – and she still isn’t naming names. Will she ever? – Ed] I don’t think so, at least until they know it’s about them.”Carly Simon (630)
“That song is about a lot of people. I mean I can think of a lot of people. The actual examples that I’ve used in the song are from my imagination, but the stimulus is directly from a couple of different sources. It’s not just about one particular person.”Carly Simon (829)
“It doesn’t mean that the other two verses are not about Warren, it just means the second one is. I met Mick Jagger at a party – and no the song is not about him [Mick sings backing vocals on the track – Ed].”Carly Simon (1109)

That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be

“Jake [Brackman, wrote the lyrics – Ed] wrote it out of a conversation we had, but the same thing was happening to him. He was going through a period in his life where when his girlfriend moved in with him, he had the same fear expressed in the song that it would no longer be him first by himself. This woman was going to come in and live in his rooms and her things would gather among his things. It’s like a territorial trip. You don’t want anybody to infringe upon your territory. Just as much as you love it – ‘Oh, I’m so glad James’ things are mingled in with mine’ or if James said, ‘Oh, I’m so glad that Carly’s things are here’ – there’s still a little bit of that territorial imperative.”Carly Simon (829)


“On this album, there’s one called ‘Slave’, which Jake [Brackman – Ed] wrote the lyric to but which I can really identify with. The main line in it, which I’m sure is gonna cause a lot of women to be really down on me, is, ‘I’m just another woman, raised to be a slave.’ I feel that often myself, as if I myself am very old-fashioned. I mean other times I feel terribly modern and very equal to my husband. I demand equality, and he gives it to me. But at other times I feel just like a slave to my own chauvinistic emotions. It’s not something I necessarily admire or try to cultivate in myself; but there it is. Now that song, ‘Slave’, could just as easily be about a man. Because men get just as hung up about women and about their own roles. Which is the argument I plan to give to women who come up to me and say, ‘How dare you!'”Carly Simon (830)

Playing Possum

“The song came out of a sadness, a concern about turning thirty, and about how things that once seemed so important lose their magic as more practical things take over. When I turned thirty I was also having a baby, so it was all those things – being a woman, turning thirty, being married; having a baby, a house. Being comfortable. Thirty, itself, is a very definitive age somehow. Whatever the expectations were when you were growing up, when you’re thirty – there you are. That’s what all your life you’ve been aspiring to. You reach a small crisis. Is this where you’re going to stay? Laying back in your comfort? Or do you get restless again and want to make a change? I was asking myself what happened. How was I so involved with politics, and with this guy who started this newspaper, and his friends…And where did I drop out, and where did he? Or did we drop out? Are we just playing possum. Is ‘now’ just a segue into something else. Will we realize that there is a way we can change the world, or whatever. Will something happen to excite you, to make you burn again the way you did in your early ‘twenties. You really did burn; you burned with the excitement of your youth, of your life.”Carly Simon (830)

Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

“That song is about a girl who was my personal assistant at the time and she was a beautiful girl, and just fascinating and intelligent and happily married. She started having an affair with a man that I knew extremely well in business and it was so wrong. I could see how this might happen. She was starry-eyed and trying to light the stars off in a different backyard. It was kind of a song to her. It was, “don’t think that you’re going to have a fancier life with your friends out in Malibu. It’s right here, it’s right in your own home, right in your own backyard, the stuff that dreams are made of.””Carly Simon (872)

Life Is Eternal

“It is almost a religious song and it is about the passing on of the flame and the torch and the love and the things that I’m so grateful for in this life. Leaving it to whoever can pick up the mantle for me – ideally my children and my grandchild.”Carly Simon (872)