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MacArthur Park Lyrics
by Richard Harris
Although teetering near the "Top Ten Worst Songs" for several years, MacArthur Park broke through in early 2002.
Given that the song was written in 1967/1968, the general consensus is "bad acid".
This is a truly silly, nonsensical song.

Spring was never waiting for us, girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages and were pressed
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants

MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

I recall the yellow cotton dress
Foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees
The birds, like tender babies in your hands
And the old men playing checkers by the trees

MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

(break)

There will be another song for me
For I will sing it
There will be another dream for me
Someone will bring it
I will drink the wine while it is warm
And never let you catch me looking at the sun
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life
You'll still be the one

I will take my life into my hands and I will use it
I will win the worship in their eyes and I will lose it
I will have the things that I desire
And my passion flow like rivers through the sky
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life
I'll be thinking of you
And wondering why

(break)

MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!
Oh, no
No, no
Oh no!!


In the 40's, 50's ands early 60's, Macarthur Park was a little piece of heaven in downtown Los Angeles. Sundays there were a cultural event. Young couples picnicked there. The locals did indeed play checkers and backgammon. The boat house provided motor boats that I loved to drive around the lake and intermingle with the many varieties of ducks and fowl that had become tame from the provders that circled the shoreline.
It was a little piece of heaven in a thriving metropolis. Afterwards we would have a malted milk shake near the boat house and look down on this mystical lake. To call Macarthur Park a bad song is to rip the heart out of any Angelino that looked forward to those days a long time ago. Macarthur Park is an anthem written by Jimmy Webb that must have tugged at his heart strings as much as it still does to mine.
-Darwin J


Agreed some of the lyrics of MacArthur Park are questionable (I mean who would leave a cake out in the rain..) That aside I still love the song (particularly the 'suite' version) for so many reasons. Not least Donna's unique soaring voice and a backing orchestra to die for. Some unique mood swings go on this. Anyway, I rediscovered Donna' music recently and yep - she was the disco queen of the '70's so I guess I'm giving my age away. And yes much of the music was very commercially packaged but cleverly so. However while I still 'occasionally' boogie on down to stuff like the Bee Gees my no 1 choice for a reason to strut on the disco floor would be...... MacArthur Park. It seems a daft song with a daft title to some but having read Darwin J.'s comments one can see how nostalgic Jimmy Webb must have been at the time of writing this. My opinion only of course so respect it !
I rate this 'unique" song a 9 out of 10 anyway. Time to boogie on down !!!
-John F. in Gloucester


I think this song gets a bad rep as it has been parodied and most people
probably don't understand it.
The song is, musically, extremely complex, considering its pop release. It
has four sections, starting in one key , with 3 key changes and time
signature changes; section two is a lament; the third section is in G minor,
and the final section, which repeats the first, is in F major, not C.

The song is initially a poem about love, then moves into a lover's lament,
remembrance and sadness as nightfall comes upon MacArthur Park. Consider a
visit to a lively park on a Sunday--if you were in a park at the end of the
day, there would be notable sadness as the day comes to a close and the
camaraderie has ended. (Perhaps the composer was trying to capture the
painting "A Sunday in the Park on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Seurat
or something similar.) Perhaps "someone left the cake out in the rain" is a
lyric about the futility of trying to recapture life's better moments.

MacArthur was covered over fifty times, including jazz composer Stan Kenton
and trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. There were numerous orchestral and
instrumental performances that were a challenge for the musicians. Other
covers, not always notable, were by Waylon Jennings, The Negro Problem, Glen
Campbell, Waylon Jennings, Sammy Davis, Jr., Justin Hayward, The Four Tops
and Liza Minnelli.
- jayekrohn

Title: MacArthur Park
Artist: Richard Harris
Written by: Jimmy Webb
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