A Brass Band Advent Calendar: 23. MacArthur Park

Grimethorpe Colliery Band’s performance of Richard Harris’ most famous song

If you are familiar with wedding DJs in the 1970s and 1980, there was always one song that the disc jockey left on the turntable whilst having a fag or a [censored]. The full version of Don Maclean’s American Pie is one example; another is the full version of The Trammps’ Disco Inferno. Even more famous was this song, covered by Donna Summer and made famous by Richard Harris.

If you guessed MacArthur Park, go to the top of the class. The song was written by Jimmy Webb, who pitched it as part of a cantata for The Association (better known for 1967’s hit Windy). They rejected it, so Richard Harris sung The World’s Favourite Soggy Cake Song and the rest, they say… double Religious Studies.

Glen Campbell and Donna Summer later covered the song. As we are staying loyal to the brass band cause, we have Grimethorpe Colliery Band’s version. What a version we have here – a keeper rather than one to play in the background. Worth foregoing your toilet or cigarette break for as well.

For tomorrow’s final window on the East of the M60 Brass Band Advent Calendar, we have another great piece for you. All will be revealed.

S.V., 23 December 2018.

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