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.
I always assumed the lyrics in MacArthur Park were some crazy reference to drugs and a 60's psychedelic hippy trip but turns out there is a rather sweet meaning to the cake which was left out in the rain.
The Sky Arts channel were talking to the lyricist Jimmy Webb who explained that everything in the song is real, MacArthur Park is in Los Angeles and his then girlfriend worked for an Insurance Company close to it and they would meet there for lunch.
There would be old men playing checkers by the trees like in the song and he would sometimes turn up with a cake that he had baked to share for her lunch.
If it rained they would run for shelter, leaving the cake behind so when they broke up and wrote the song about the break up, the cake being left out in the rain became a metaphor for his loss, never having that recipe again representing losing his love.
Not a psychedelic hippy trip at all then, a poignant metaphor for losing a girl which is rather lovely and puts a whole new spin in my mind for the beautiful song now that it makes sense.
Now if only they can get hold of Michael Stripe to explain what the hell he was singing about in those REM songs!