David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Day 259: Carly Simon (Anticipation)

June 12, 2023

While Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" remains famously steeped in mystery about the song's subject, her "Anticipation" sadly doesn't. According to SongFacts, she wrote it while waiting for a very late Cat Stevens to come to her place for a dinner date. (Honestly, Cat, who would ever have been late for a date with Carly Simon?) For most of us, it played while we waited for our Heinz Ketchup to plop on our burger, and frankly that advertisement may be one of the most iconic pairings of a pop song with a product. When Saturday Night Live brilliantly used it for one of their parody advertisements, "Swill Mineral Water," the joke was as much about that iconic pairing, as it was about such a disgusting product.

What could ever be a more disgusting association with such a beautiful song? Nothing, we think. Thank God.

Hold my ketchup.

"Anticipation" had stayed in relative hibernation until 2018, when ABC used it to promote The Conners sans Roseanne. Let's face it, they were laying it thicker than Heinz, with a more horrifying reaction than "Swill Mineral Water."

What was ABC thinking? Honestly, especially after "Swill Mineral Water," using "Anticipation" to promote anything once related to Roseanne Barr is #1 on The Worst Ideas For Using Carly Simon's "Anticipation." The full list:

#10 --Psychic Call Lines (do those still exist?) -- Can't you see Jeane Dixon singing, "You can never know about the days to come/but we think about them anyway."

#9 -- Voter Registration Public Service Announcements -- Uncle Sam begging young people to register to vote, "Yeah, I know your current politicians suck, but we must always be, as Carly Simon sang, 'chasin' after some finer day.'"

#8 -- Home Pregnancy Tests -- Voiceover to nervous young girl sitting at kitchen table: "Want to know if it is anticipation making you late? Well, eliminate one possibility with Clearblue."

#7 -- The Department of Motor Vehicles -- Woman at front of room filled with hundred of miserable souls, announcing over the P.A., "Anticipation is keepin' you waiting? Compare your number to the monitor at the front of the room. "

#6 -- The TSA -- Portly guard smirking at cowering young airline traveler: "How right our arms feel around you. Relax and enjoy it."

#5 -- Crisis Public Relations Specialists -- Man in dark suit promising "There's nothing to see here, move on, I rehearsed those words just late last night."

#4 -- Climate Control Public Service Announcements -- Tree-hugger standing at edge of forest fire: "I don't know nature's ways. . . but I know she ain't happy."

#3 -- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) -- Mother clutching child, "I see the bad man a-coming, Chico, tomorrow we might not be together."

#2 -- Bail Bonds Company -- Flashing neon highway sign: "Don't even think about jumping bail, stay right here cause these are the good old days."

#1 -- Any resurgence of Roseanne Barr, Andy Dick, or Andrew Dice Clay -- Because they never represent good days, old or new.

I'm all for Carly Simon getting some love (especially if Cat dropped the ball), but there are limits.

Simon, Carly. "Anticipation." Anticipation. Elektra, 1971. Link here.

Day 258: The J. Geils Band "Love Stinks"

Day 260: Mark Mulcahy "What If I Go Off With Bob?"

See complete list here.