cakes · chocolate · music · nostalgia

The Icing on MacArthur Park (and My Christmas Cake!)

On Christmas Eve I iced my Christmas cake, as I am known to do every year, during one of the preceding days leading up to the big day itself.

As a general rule, the icing stays put. But not this Christmas!

The moisture in the air, due to the massive amounts of rain we have been experiencing over the last few weeks, had my chocolate icing venturing to places on my cake where chocolate icing was not intended to be!

(The humidity level has regularly hovered around 80 – 90 % for some time now.)

Immediately, I had music in my head…

“MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down…
Someone left the cake out in the rain…”


Yes, I know, my icing was sweet brown icing and no, I did not leave it out in the rain! Although it looks for all the world as if I did!

Do you remember the song, “MacArthur Park”? It was written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by actor, Richard Harris in 1968. The song became an instant one hit wonder for Harris, the actor.

I remember the song well, from listening to my mother constantly singing it around the house, whilst going about her housework! She was totally besotted by the song!

As to the actual recording of the song, even as a child I found Richard Harris’s voice haunting. Still do, for that matter.

Not that I had a clue as to what the lyrics were going on about!

It got the better of me. I had to take myself off to YouTube and find the song. Just to hear that voice again. And the orchestra. And to feel the sensation of goose bumps….

Yep, I’m my mother’s daughter. I’m besotted by that song!

I came across a few trivial facts to share with you also, just in case you’re interested in Richard Harris, or his gorgeous voice, or his acting, or that song…

Richard St. John Harris was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1930.

His movie career began in 1958 and included roles in such memorable movies as “The Guns of Navarone”, “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Camelot”.

In 2002, Harris played his final movie role in “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets”, as Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore.

Unfortunately, Harris passed away just two and a half weeks before the release of the movie.

As to my not understanding the lyrics of “MacArthur Park”, apparently they are meant to symbolise the ending of a love affair!

You can watch and listen to a YouTube video here ~

to hear snippets of the song, as sung by Richard Harris, along with interjections of anecdotes about the song and Harris himself.

For an uninterrupted (shortened) version of the song, go here ~

This second link is “A Tribute to Richard Harris”. Whilst he is singing the song, various photos are flashed across the screen, of Harris as he appeared in some of his movies roles. At the end of the video, an Irish Blessing appears, reading,

“May you always find blue skies above your head,

Shamrocks beneath your feet, laughter and joy aplenty,

Kindness from all you meet,

Good friends and kin to miss you if ever you choose to roam,

And a path that’s been cleared by angels themselves

To carry you safely home”.

Isn’t that a lovely blessing?

And so ends my “Richard Harris / MacArthur Park walk down memory lane and trivia quest”.

The humidity has dropped today to around 60 %, the rain is gone and the sun is shining, but I’ll be waiting a while before I add any icing to any cakes I bake!

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4 thoughts on “The Icing on MacArthur Park (and My Christmas Cake!)

  1. I think the cake looks very pretty with those stripes of chocolate. And delicious!!

    I’m going to be humming that song all day now… lol! I always thought the music was great but the lyrics never made sense. Even with your explanation, I’m still not sure they make sense. lol!

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