I’ve had this idea for some time for a video I’d like to make but probably never will.
It would feature two characters; call them The Boy and The Girl. If you want to imagine that The Boy is me, go ahead, but of course that is not the intent.
The video opens on a closeup of a keyboard and we see the hands of The Boy begin to play the opening vamp of MacArthur Park. As he begins to sing (“Spring was never waiting for us , Girl. / It ran one step ahead, / As we followed in the dance.”), the camera pulls back and we see The Boy. He’s about 70 years old and devilishly handsome.
I’ve embedded a karaoke version of the song in case you want to play it while reading the rest of this post. Sing along, too, if you like.
As he continues to sing (“Between the parted pages and were pressed / In love’s hot fevered iron / Like a striped pair of pants.”), he rises from the piano, and the camera follows him as he sadly paces in his room.
When he reaches the refrain (“MacArthur Park is melting in the dark / All the sweet green icing flowing down / 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 / Oh, no!”), there is a cut to an outdoor scene. A park at night. We hear the sound of rain. There is a closeup of a cake with green icing melting from the rain.
The Boy sings the second verse (“I recall the yellow cotton dress / Foaming like a wave / On the ground around your knees / The birds like tender babies in your hands / And the old men playing checkers / By the trees.”) and we see appropriate images of the yellow cotton dress, the birds, and the men playing checkers. We catch just brief glimpses of The Girl. A hand here. The back of her head there.
As The Boy launches into the refrain for the second time, once again we see the park with the cake with green icing melting from the rain. But the camera pulls back to reveal that it isn’t rain that’s melting the icing, but The Girl with a huge sprinkling can. She is also about 70. There is a cryptic smile on her face.
Now the contrasting middle section of the song begins (“There will be another song for me / For I will sing it”). Off screen we hear a voice shout, “Please don’t!”
(“There will be another dream for me / Someone will bring it / I will drink the wine while it is warm / And never let you catch me / Looking at the sun / And after all the loves of my life / After all the loves of my life / You’ll still be the one.”) The Girl and The Boy are now both in his room. She pours warm wine for him; he makes furtive glances at the sun.
(“I will take my life into my hands / And I will use it / I will win the worship in their eyes / And I will lose it / I will have the things that I desire / And my passion flow like rivers through the sky”)
(“And after all the loves of my life / Oh after all the loves in my life / I’ll be thinking of you”) Closeup of The Girl holding a huge carving knife with a diabolical smile on her face.
(“And wondering why.”) Closeup of The Boy with a confused expression on his face.
As the instrumental section of the song begins, The Boy and The Girl begin a frenzied dance, part jitterbug retro, part post modern slumming. The Girl tries to imitate Salome’s Dance of the Seven Veils and lets the scarf around her neck fall to the floor. The camera briefly shows a closeup of the scarf on the floor.
At the end of the first half of the instrumental section, The Girl gets an idea (closeup of her coming to a realization), and during the repeat of that section the video cuts back and forth between The Boy’s ever more frenzied dancing (he shakes his booty a lot) and The Girl as she dumps flour and other ingredients into a huge bowl, mixes it, tosses it into the oven, and applies green icing to the finished cake. Sort of a Betty White-style Happy Homemaker on steroids.
As the instrumental section comes to a close and the music begins its scale-wise ascent to the final refrain, we see The Girl ascending the steps (closeup of her feet taking the stairs in step to the music) and as The Boy triumphantly launches into the closing refrain she reaches the top and enters his room and just as he sings that he doesn’t think he can take it, we see The Girl, carrying the cake, enter the room and slip on the scarf that she dropped earlier, and the cake goes sailing through the air in slow motion as The Boy reaches the end of the refrain (“Oh no!”) the cake smashes into his face.
As the song concludes with the unseen chorus of women adding some more “Oh noes”, The Boy is licking the green icing off his face, The Girl next to him hungrily eating some of the cake with a fork, and a puppy joins in licking up what it can get.
As I said, I’ll probably never make it because I don’t think I have enough comic images to sustain that whole song, but I would love to try to figure out how to do the slow motion cake flying through the air and smashing into The Boy’s face.