Louis Lichtman had a bakery at 86th and Amsterdam
You'd smell the rising bread at least a couple blocks away
For forty years a wedding cake of one kind or another
Would occupy the Lichtman's Bakery window every day

Then the world turned from pastry and from challah and from cookies
From the independent merchant to the supermarket mall
And the rents were rising faster than the loaves that they were earned on
So the "Going Out of Business" sign appeared on Lichtman's wall

The lights are out at Lichtman's now
The building's cold and empty, with a cake stand in the window
Your credit's fine, no money down
And the Upper West Side doesn't smell as sweetly as it used to
Back when Lichtman's Bakery graced our little town

The final day of business came and with it Lichtman's regulars
Paying their respects and taking in the sad details
Mrs. Kaplan bought a dozen cakes, another, thirty strudels
As the auctioneer prepared to start the sale

Some sixty other bakers bid on ovens and on boxes
There were mixers, there was shortening, there were bowls, and there were pans
And the years were sifting through the racks at Louis Lichtman's bakery
Like the flour and the sugar through his hands

The lights are out at Lichtman's now
The building's cold and empty, with a cake stand in the window
The Daily Special sign fell down
And the Upper West Side doesn't smell as sweetly as it used to
Back when Lichtman's Bakery graced our little town

The last of all the lots was sold, the frosting tubes and freezer
Mr. Lichtman clutched his rolling pin and went to stand outside
He didn't want to watch the auctioneer conclude his business
And he didn't want his friends to see him cry

A note left hanging on the wall
It said that Mrs. Rosenthal still owed him 7 dollars
That was a long, long time ago
And the ceiling fan once spinning round for one last time was slowing down
As forty years came turning to a close

The lights are out at Lichtman's now
The building's cold and empty, Mr. Lichtman moved to Jersey
The neighborhood has changed around
The Upper West Side doesn't smell as sweetly as it used to
Back when Lichtman's Bakery graced our little town


Lyrics submitted by bananahero

Bake Sale song meanings
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