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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

MacArthur Park

As I've blogged before, I don't pay close attention to lyrics when I listen to music. The vibe of the song is more important, so this is why I often miss some rather silly lyrics. Case in point, the lyrics to Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park." Here are the lyrics to the first part:

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'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-o-o-o!

I recall the yellow cotton dress
Flowing 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 dont think that I can take it
Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again!
Oh, no-o-o-o!

Writing lyrics can induce silliness for the sake of rhyming. In the case of "MacArthur Park," you have a great, aching melody over some lyrics that don't really make sense. A literal interpretation: a park is scary in the dark and a cake was destroyed by rain. What? Is this about regret? Is this about nostalgia? I think it's about lost love but with some humor implied. Your thoughts? Feel free and post them in the comments forum . . .

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