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
“MacArthur Park” is notorious for it’s sentimentality and unusual metaphors. However at it’s core, it is a semi-autobiographical song based on a period in Jimmy Webb’s life when he lost a great love of his life. At the time he lived near MacArthur Park in LA and he and his love used to go there together. But in the song, the hero is going back there alone after she has gone, thinking about where they went and what they did, replaying everything in his head and mourning the loss of the relationship, wondering if he’ll ever love anyone as much or if this was love of his life.
The cake could be a metaphor for Webb and Ronstadt’s relationship. So when “someone” (an affair, Webb or Ronstadt’s neglect, etc.) left the cake out in the rain, they ruined the relationship and Webb doesn’t think he can cope since he had invested so much time and emotion in their relationship. Webb realizes that once they break up, they’ll never be the same again or that he’ll never be able to have a relationship the same way again.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box