Track of the Day: 'You're So Vain'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

All this week, via our Politics & Policy Daily newsletter, Elaine asked readers, “What song should Donald Trump come out to when he walks on stage Thursday night at the Republican National Convention?” On Tuesday night, in a surprise stage entrance to introduce his wife before her convention speech, Trump sauntered out in a silhouette against a glowing-blue background (reminiscent of Close Encounters) with Queen’s rock anthem “We Are the Champions” filling the arena. (Unfortunately The Donald wasn’t wearing the regalia of Freddie Mercury.)

But Trump’s official walk-on music, for his big acceptance speech last night, was the theme from the blockbuster movie Air Force One. (Harrison Ford presumably wasn’t impressed.) None of our readers picked that obscure score, but one of them, Joe Bookman, did pick The Rolling Stones’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which was Trump’s walk-off music.

So which song did Elaine and the P&PD team pick among the scores of reader submissions? Carly Simon’s ode to narcissism:

The refrain is very meta:

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you?

Thanks to reader David Neufeld for the winning pick. The runners-up were DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” (a primary-themed pick from reader Raymond Williams) and the old American spiritual “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” (an ominous pick from Charles Patterson). Regarding the latter, here’s a rendition more in line with Trump’s WrestleMania past:

Some honorable mentions from Elaine were Queen’s “I Want It All” (via Christopher Boehme) and the theme song from the musical Hair (via Geraldine Link). The most popular picks from readers were “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and “Send in the Clowns” by Judy Collins. One reader suggested “Real American” by Rick Derringer, “especially if Trump comes out to pyrotechnics.” Another pick was “Fucken Awesome”:

From the reader who recommended it:

Great band, great song, and sung by a woman to bring cross-over appeal. And really, what else can top “We Are the Champions” for self-assurance and braggadocio?  Even better, the swearing adds a dash of New York values …

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)