The scene: a Taylor Swift concert, Foxborough, Massachusetts, Saturday night. The two 15-year old girls seated to my left both thought that the special guest would be New Kids on the Block. “They were in town recently!” said one. The other noted that the band was from Boston and that Swift’s guests are always hometown heroes. When the time came, Swift introduced the performer to the crowd of 55,000 by saying, “I think a lot of you probably had this question, too, and always wondered what the answer is: Who is the song ‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon written about?”
Blank faces to my left. That wasn’t their question, exactly. It was more like, “Who the hell is Carly Simon?” I don’t think they were alone, though the mothers and fathers scattered throughout Gillette Stadium sang along loudly. (Except for that last verse, because no one knows that last verse.) Maybe one day they’ll understand the ironic delight of a duet between the girl whose songs everyone seems to know the origin stories to and the woman who penned one of pop music’s only remaining mysteries.
“That is the most direct way anyone has ever addressed a breakup.” And coming from Taylor Swift, that’s a huge compliment.