Carly Simon

Start Free Trial


Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Carly Simon 1945–

American songwriter.

Simon is best known for writing lyrics that honestly and realistically evaluate life's predicaments. In her first popular success, "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," Simon views marriage as a complex social institution which inhibits individuality yet protects people from loneliness. Simon deals with the bitter aspects of personal relationships in many of her songs, including "You're So Vain." However, the emotions and situations in her best lyrics, and her treatment of the problems of the upper-middle-class woman, are understood by all types of listeners.

Carly Simon, her debut album, was both a critical and commercial success. Her later records, however, have received mixed reviews. Some critics believe that Simon has lost interest in writing about social hypocrisy and putting forth a universal message since her marriage to songwriter James Taylor. Although she collaborates on some of her lyrics, most often with Jacob Brackman, critics attribute Simon's popularity to her ability to sensitively and confidently analyze complicated human situations.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Timothy Crouse