MacArthur Park cover
MacArthur Park cover

MacArthur Park Lyrics Meanings
by Richard Harris

Pop
1993
518

MacArthur Park Lyrics

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!

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!

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What's Your Interpretation?

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Thoughts & Meanings

Over the years I have heard much confusion about the lyrics and people seem to want to take the words literally. I have always understood the words as a man who on the brink of marriage has for whatever reason split up with his partner. The heartache that follows is the fuel for the song. I see him sitting staring into a coffee thinking things through and pictures are flashing in and out of his minds eye and he is doing his best to explain them to himself. His memories of days or moments spent with her in the park are fading. The cake that someone has left on another table becomes a focus for his stare and that conjures up an analogy in that it takes longer to make than eat and he translates that into his relationship. These swirling pictures are the bulk of the song and like any dream they appear nonsensical. Then in a clear moment he begins to reflect on what lies ahead and common sense takes over. he sees a future without her but also knows he will never forget her. He knows in time he will find a new road to travel but he also can't understand why he needs to. Was her explanation truthful? I think anyone that has been deeply in love will understand this song. It is profound and has always been beautifully produced. Some say it was over the top but isn't that how you feel when your heart is in pieces?

I enjoyed Richard Harris' version but Andy Williams is my absolute.favorite. Check it out if you havent heard it!

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