Song Lyric Sunday — Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams is apparently wanting go out to the park for a picnic, giving us the words “Baking,” “Bread,” “Cake,” “Pie,” and even “Picnic.” The song that immediately popped into my head was the Richard Harris rendition of Jimmy Web’s “MacArthur Park,” which is probably most recognized for the lyric, “Someone left a cake out in the rain.”

“MacArthur Park was written and composed by American songwriter, composer, and singer Jimmy Webb and was first recorded in 1968 by Irish actor and singer Richard Harris. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

MacArthur Park is a real park in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Jimmy Webb was challenged by music producer Bones Howe to write and compose a classically structured song with several movements that could be played on the radio. The song Webb wrote begins as a poem about love, then moves into a lover’s lament.

The love affair Webb wrote about was with Suzy Horton. Webb explained that, “MacArthur Park was where we met for lunch and paddleboat rides and feeding the ducks.” But Suzy left him for another man. When he heard she was getting married in MacArthur Park, he was broken hearted. He went to the wedding and, not wanting to be seen, hid in a gardener’s shed. As the open-air ceremony was taking place, it started to pour and the rain was running down the shed window, which made the wedding cake look as if it was melting.

Of the song, Webb said, “It’s clearly about a love affair ending, and the person singing it is using the cake and the rain as a metaphor for that. Sure, it may be far out there, and a bit incomprehensible, but I wrote the song at a time in the late 1960s when surrealistic lyrics were the order of the day.”

Here are the lyrics for “MacArthur Park.”

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

MacArthur’s 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’s 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!

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
Oh, after all the loves of my life
I’ll be thinking of you
And wondering why

MacArthur’s 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
Oh no!

28 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain

  1. Jen Goldie July 19, 2020 / 3:51 am

    This song is one of my ABSOLUTE Favourites! The only reason I didn’t use it for the prompt is I’ve posted it so many times already!
    Thank you Fan!! I’ll just sit awhile and listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine Bolton July 19, 2020 / 3:59 am

    Lol 😂 I knew someone had to pick i. Thanks for letting me know why the cake was left out in the rain.
    Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie July 19, 2020 / 7:09 am

    I always love this song, but I cannot tell you why. It leaves me with a sense of a beautiful longing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 19, 2020 / 8:00 pm

      I think, in a weird, surreal way, that’s exactly what it’s about.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa Coleman July 19, 2020 / 9:04 am

    Love this song and listened to it yesterday on Alexa, debating on doing it. I knew it was used on Song Lyric Sunday a few weeks ago and today it is very very popular…for good reason! I hadn’t seen this video so that was new. Great choice! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. newepicauthor July 19, 2020 / 9:40 am

    I hate it when I can’t locate the recipe, especially when a cake turns out so good. Nice write-up on this song Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. msjadeli July 19, 2020 / 12:42 pm

    We thought this song was a joke as kids, but as an adult it makes a lot of “sense” even if Harris hams it up in his rendition. Good choice for walking down memory lane.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Marleen July 19, 2020 / 3:49 pm

    The first things that came to mind for me were a group called Bread and then a group called Cake.

    But those aren’t songs. So, I decided to search for a song with bake in it.

    Voila.

    It’s educational, especially for Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 19, 2020 / 10:51 pm

      I’m glad I no longer live in Texas!

      Like

      • Marleen July 21, 2020 / 8:01 pm

        That’s a pretty rough law. However, one of my sons (one who makes jokes about white privilege) recently said he wants to move to Texas after he gets his masters degree. He asked me to move there with him. I’ve forgotten what part of Texas is where you lived. Did you ever go to any beaches in Texas? I haven’t. What are they like? He likes the idea of going someplace warm; I only like it if I can swim and perhaps live at a beach.

        One thing I’ve thought about is that I don’t want to live near Halliburton or it’s polluting activities. (But I realize they are all over the country and throughout the world. I don’t know what company/companies are in Oklahoma, but I read, not long ago, that almost all of the counties in that state have fracking. If you look into it, that’s not only bad because of global warming. It’s horrible for workers and polluting land and water.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango July 21, 2020 / 11:02 pm

          I used to live in Dallas. I’ve been to Galveston and Corpus Christi.

          Like

          • Marleen July 22, 2020 / 2:43 am

            I went to a beach, once (when I was maybe twelve), in a state farther west than Florida into the Gulf of Mexico. I was happy to go to a beach, but then I was grossed out — I won’t go into detail.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango July 22, 2020 / 11:35 am

              Hmm. You’ve piqued my curiosity.

              Like

            • Marleen July 22, 2020 / 3:08 pm

              It was either Alabama or Mississippi. The general feel of the place was already getting less familiar. Then I noticed a big, long tube of an obstruction blocking the openness of the swim space and going out into the deeper water. I heard from someone, not sure [now] if it was someone else’s parent answering their own child or my mom telling me, that it was sewage! (My dad wasn’t there [due to my mom being on a kick].) Do other places just hide it better? (I have to say I appreciate it if so but also think their additional care seems to involve extending out farther to make a difference in reality.) Was I misinformed as to what it was? I got out. (My mom was never in, as she isn’t a water fan.)

              Whatever it was, I’m also creeped out by unnatural things built into or running in bodies of natural water. I almost answered with such when you once asked (at least months ago) about something like creepiest technology. But it extends to water treatment and connections to it (while I’m VERY thankful for this feature of civilization); even when not at a beach. The creep factor also involves the undersides of ships, to the idea of oil rigs, and who knows what else. Anyway, a beach has to have a certain character to it for me to be happy. But I’ve mostly only been to enjoyable beaches, so I suppose I’m a little sheltered in that regard. In the show I watched, called Outer Banks, the water venue wasn’t the kind of beachfront I’m used to, but the grassy areas seemed all natural without hidden crap.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango July 22, 2020 / 10:08 pm

              Who knows what is actually in the waters along our beaches? I used to think the water was relatively clean, but not so much anymore.

              Like

            • Marleen July 23, 2020 / 9:03 am

              The more I think about it, the more I don’t want to live in Texas. I visited friends after they moved there [who I met when we lived in California and who now live in Arizona] living there, decades ago (who, while they didn’t own a television, said they lived very near the Ewing ranch from the show Dallas). My memories (other than of a local wood that popped in the fireplace) are of flat land and fire ants.

              Also, I looked up pictures of beaches and beach homes in Texas a couple nights ago. My point of view is to expect that the powers who be could and would present something appealing if it’s there (guess it is not). Of course, if my son were to start a family (before all of his brothers) in Texas… that would be a trump card.

              Oh, wait. I’m now checking Houston and Austin. And have found state parks as well. There is hope. (But I have to “look out” — pretty sure Halliburton is in Houston.)

              Liked by 1 person

  8. leigha66 July 20, 2020 / 12:11 pm

    I am glad to know the reason behind the melting cake. I can’t remember who did the remake of it in the 70’s I think it was. I always liked Richard Harris though.

    Liked by 1 person

      • leigha66 July 21, 2020 / 1:47 am

        Ok, that is why I couldn’t remember. I have tried to block out that silly disco phase we all went through. Ha ha!

        Liked by 1 person

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