Why (Carly Simon song)

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Single by Carly Simon
from the album Soup for One (soundtrack)
Released August 1982
Format 7" single
12" single
12" maxi single
Recorded 1981
Genre Disco-funk,[1] reggae fusion
Length 3:32
Label Mirage Records
Writer(s) Nile Rodgers
Bernard Edwards
Producer(s) Chic
Carly Simon singles chronology
"You Know What to Do"
Music sample

"Why" is a song performed by Carly Simon, recorded for the film Soup for One in 1982. The movie flopped but the soundtrack was a success. The song is one in a string of many film-inspired singles by Simon.

The song, like the rest of the soundtrack, was produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic.[2] This was a move away from the usual guitar-based hits of Simon's past. The bittersweet reggae-tinged ballad became a hit in Europe, hitting #10 in the UK,[3] and staying on the British charts for 18 weeks. The song stalled at #74 on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained on the chart for 6 weeks.[4]

The song is centered on the phrase "Why does your love hurt so much?", and Simon sings perhaps one of her most heartfelt and yearning vocals to date on the track.[5] However, despite this sad subject matter, the song also became well known for its catchy refrain "La di-da, di-da".

A promotional video was made for the single that is currently viewable on Simon's YouTube page. The video shows Simon walking through a downtown street before stopping by an outdoor café where she mingles with residents who look on with keen interest. At the midpoint of the song, the residents watching Simon join in the song as she leads them in singing the memorable "la di-da, di-da" refrain.[6]

In 1989, the song re-surfaced on the Ibiza "Hacienda" scene, and cemented its status as a Balearic classic.[1] Known for its bass-line and funky drums, it was then that the growing hip-hop scene in the USA began to pick it up, seven years after its original release. The song re-entered the UK charts the same year, reaching #56.

Track listings and formats[edit]

7" single[7]
  • "Why" – 3:33
  • "Why" (performed by Chic) – 3:33
12" single[7]
  • "Why" (Extended Version) – 8:11
  • "Why" (Instrumental) – 7:06


Chart (1982) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50)[8] 21
Ireland[9] 15
Netherlands[10] 35
UK (Official Chart Company)[3] 10
US (Billboard Hot 100) 74

Cover versions and samples[edit]

  • In 1989, Japanese pop singer EPO covered the song on her album Supernatural. Subsequently she re-covered it on the international release of Fire and Snow in 1991.
  • In 1993, A Tribe Called Quest sampled the whole instrumental version of the song for a remix of their earlier hit "Bonita Applebum".
  • In 1999, UK reggae artist Glamma Kid covered most of the song, interspersed with rap, taking it back up to #10 on the UK charts.
  • Danish artist Natasha Thomas covered the song in 2003, using the title "Why (Does Your Love Hurt So Much)".
  • The Memory Band included a version of the song on their 2006 album, Apron Strings.
  • SoundGirl released their version of the song on June 19, 2011.
  • Alpines and Maya Jane Coles released a cover version on November 18, 2011.
  • Mothlite covered the song as the B-side to their single "Something in the Sky", released in 2012.
  • M.I.A. samples a part of the song in "Unbreak My Mixtape", released in 2013.


  1. ^ a b "Forgotten Treasure: Carly Simon "Why" (1981)". Musicismysanctuary.com. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Soup For One". carlysimonmusic.com. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Carly Simon". The Official Chart Company. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Carly Simon - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW8UnXzP3ms
  7. ^ a b Why at Discogs (list of releases)
  8. ^ "Carly Simon – "Why"" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Carly Simon – "Why"" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2013-06-06. 

External links[edit]