Boomer Anthems: "MacArthur Park" Everyone Knows the Refrain. Everyone Wishes They Didn't.

In 1980, I was in my high school's show choir, and we performed this song. When out director first brought it out, we all looked at one another like, wth??

Posted by Leslie at November 14, 2014 9:28 AM

I saw Maynard Ferguson at the Paramount Theater in Seattle - 1977. His version of MacArthur Park brought the house down.

Posted by Jewel at November 14, 2014 11:11 AM

I had just gotten married, and realized that the marriage was a BIG mistake. Then the song came out, and was played every 15 minutes for a year.

The song became a stimulus that even now elicits nausea and the gag reflex. I have to leave the room and take calming breaths.

I developed a severe antipathy towards Richard Harris. "The guy makes me queasy."

I can't abide soggy cake. "I'm sorry, I must go. Soggy cake."

Posted by Lance de Boyle at November 14, 2014 11:32 AM

Waylon Jennings does a good countrified version, and the Four Tops do a fine soul version.

Posted by Gagdad Bob at November 14, 2014 11:34 AM

I had hoped to never be reminded of that song again.

It's OK, Gerard. It's your site and I love it.

The site that is, not the stupid song.

Posted by Don Rodrigo at November 14, 2014 11:53 AM

Glen Cambell not only was a great singer, but he was also a fantastic guitar player and musician. He did a number of Jimmy Web songs. This performance is great, a lot of feeling in his voice and passion in his guitar solo.

I actually like the song, not necessarily the lyrics, but the music is outstanding. Jimmy Webb was a great American songwriter.

Posted by Lovernios at November 14, 2014 12:47 PM

Or you can take the cake left out in the rain as a metaphor for forgetfulness or carelessness about that which we love. 'This world is all about loving --- and not loving enough.'
Maybe somewhere from Rumi, a madman poet, mystic, searcher, finder, intoxicated with love of God.

Posted by Howard Nelson at November 14, 2014 3:58 PM

I saw Harris perform it with a dancer on the Tonight show with Carson. I wish I could find the tape of that event.

Posted by Langley at November 14, 2014 5:48 PM

My mom and dad met while working together at the MacArthur Park boathouse snack bar.

Posted by el baboso at November 14, 2014 6:23 PM

Hate on the song all you want, the final stanzas still bring me to tears. After all the loves of my life--after the last love of my life--there will still be that one...

Posted by RigelDog at November 14, 2014 7:10 PM

My favorite version, hands down:

Posted by Cameron at November 14, 2014 10:39 PM

Jimmy Webb is the best AMERICAN songwriter/ tunesmith we have. Glen Campbell is beyond words. What a voice! The two together have done some outrageously wonderful music.
My personal 2 favorites.

Posted by JoeDaddy at November 15, 2014 4:09 AM

Suzy was hot back then and she's still got it today. Easy on the eyes for us old guys.
One of those California girls the Beach Boys were yodeling about.
I wonder if she is any relation to Suzy Creamcheese?

Posted by chasmatic at November 15, 2014 4:52 AM

When that song came out I was 37, married 13 years with six kids, flying DC-6s in Central and South America, and had a fairly decent Merrill Lynch portfolio. Some of my kids may know of it, but I'd never heard of it or any of those groups until today. Having been raised on big band, dixieland and jazz, I doubt I've missed anything.

Posted by BillH at November 15, 2014 7:46 AM

I too was just married when 'McArthur Park' was released. Peaked at #2S in the summer of '68. Still married to the same wonderful woman after forty plus (actually closer to fifty) years. Still love 'McArthur Park' too.

Oh... that Jim Gordon on drums on Richard Harris' version.

Posted by Badco at November 15, 2014 8:35 AM

I always liked the Richard Harris version. I hadn't heard the Glen Campbell version till now, he's a great singer. Jimmy Webb was a fantastic song write and wrote some great music. The Donna Summer version that I like is the extended version - 17:52:

Posted by Geo at November 15, 2014 8:37 AM