So here we are, after twenty eight gruelling days; the final challenge and a disappointing brief echoing the first, to write a play using four numbers which didn’t inspire anything in me at all. So instead I decided to revisit one of the earlier challenges to write a play about your favourite song using the lyrics.
Mac Arthur Park is one of those extraordinary idiosyncratic masterpieces that has baffled people as to its meaning through its obscure poetical lyrics. I bought the album years ago and indulged in Jimmy Webb’s heartfelt songwriting craft and originality of his lyrics and orchestration. Richard Harris was an unlikely singer and champion of his work but it was one of those extraordinary collaborations that left a unique legacy of hauntingly beautiful songs which were in tune with my own heart break at the time.
As Jimmy Webb has since made clear, the song was about the break up of a relationship where he would meet his girlfriend for lunch in Mac Arthur Park which is in Los Angeles and all the strange references to things like “cake left out in the rain” he saw there. Suzy Horton was also the muse for other great Webb songs “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Where’s the Playground, Susie” and “Didn’t We.”
So I imagined their last meeting in Mac Arthur Park and their farewell picnic together before disappearing from each other’s lives forever. It could do with developing. Remember all these posts were written in one sitting, usually around a couple or three hours work at most.