MacArthur Park (Jimmy Webb)

Over a period of four decades, Jimmy Webb (b. 1946) has written hits for a number of singers including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Linda Ronstadt. His songs are often epic in character and include By the Time I Get to Phoenix; Up, Up and Away; Didn’t We; Wichita Lineman and Galveston.

He is the only person to receive Grammy Awards in all three categories: music, lyrics and orchestration. He has also written musicals and film scores, including the music for the animated film The Last Unicorn. He has written for television as well, including music for the show ER.

His music has always divided the critics - MacArthur Park more than most – but there is no denying the popularity of his lavishly orchestrated and musically sophisticated songs.

MacArthur Park (1968) was unlike anything that had gone before it. Running at over 7 minutes, it is 2 or 3 times the length of most pop songs and has an extended orchestral interlude. Richard Harris’ seminal recording topped the music charts in Europe, while peaking at number two on the U.S. charts.

The lyrics (which have mystified most listeners) are more symbolic and sentimental than descriptive, and are apparently about a lost love and a rendezvous in the park.