Cat's in the Cradle Lyrics - Harry Chapin

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Cat's in the Cradle Lyrics
Harry Chapin

Cat's in the Cradle Lyrics

My child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew,
He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad.
You know I'm gonna be like you."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

My son turned ten just the other day.
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He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play.
Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today,
I got a lot to do." He said, "That's ok."
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed,and
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I'm gonna be like him."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
"Son, I'm proud of you. Can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head, and he said with a smile,
"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."

I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind."
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's have the flu,
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.
It's been sure nice talking to you."
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
you know we'll have a good time then.



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My late husband's favorite song | Reviewer: Miss P. | 4/29/13

I woke up with this song playing in my head early this morning, and it made me weep for quite a while. This was my late husband's (and one of our two sons')favorite song. I listened to it on YouTube a little while ago, and I started howling and crying my eyes out for the first time this whole nightmare of losing my husband started last month. Our two sons will never see their father on earth. George Michael’s “Father Figure” made me cry, too, but “Cats in the Cradle” was my late husband's favorite song which makes it extremely special to all of us. The irony is that he was the exact opposite described in this song, a very dedicated father to our sons who both have autism. My heart got broken when I learnt this singer had passed away at the age of 38. My husband was only 49. Way too young to die.


Back again for a 2nd round | Reviewer: Ken Mohamed | 12/16/12

Although I agree partially with some of the comments (time goes by so quickly and we have to cherish every moments with our children); I also believe that message in "Cats In The Cradle" is lost in some cases. In four or five minutes we just can't record step by step all the things we've done with our children over 30 or 40 years; however, Harry's message clearly states that we must fill in the blanks (read between the lines)because every ten times he played ball with his son, he said no just one time (in everything he did as a parent) that's why his son said "That's ok" and "His smile never dimmed" and his son's smile said, "I'm gonna be like him". We all have responsibilities and have to say no sometimes to our children sometimes but 90% of yes out weighs 10% of no's. Also of all the times Harry and his son spent together as family (childhood to adulthood)they always, had a good time ("We'll have a good time then" even though his son wanted wanted to go with friends (future wife) when he returned "from college just the other day" and when Harry retired and wanted to talk to his son, his son was busy with his life (just as Harry was when his son was growing up)trying to take care of the bills and looking after his kids too. Whatever Harry taught his son over the years, his son was now doing exactly the same things (taking on responsibilities) that harry was doing many years ago; therefore, Harry (parent)was proud of what his son had become, "he'd grown up just like me, my boy was just like me". This is the ultimate satisfaction for a parent and you know that they will always visit with each other, "but we'll get together then, Dad" (Son) "We're gonna have a good time then".

My life is better listening to this song; I could tell people about it and become emotionally in my own way. Thank you Mr. Harry Chapin, I love you and we'll all meet up and have a good time soon.

Ken Mohamed

CAT"S IN THE CRADLE - describes the reality of life | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/28/11

Like the lyrics of "TAXI" this song is what life is all about - "Cat's InThe Cradle" and "TAXI" are two of the greatest songs ever because just about everyone can relate to what the lyrics are telling us - I saw Harry Chapin several weeks before his tragic and untimely death and he was truly a wonderful human being - Bruce from Pennsylvania

powerful song | Reviewer: joe | 10/1/09

this is such a powerful song, it touches every heart really, I don't have this type of experience because my dad always have a time for me and I don't have my own kid yet, but this song still make me sad and think, it reminds me to treat the people around me the best, 'cause when time had passed, we can't change anything

Why are we so selfish??? | Reviewer: Jo-Ann | 4/27/09

Right now this song is playing out in my very life, everyday as I see my son and lots of other Dads seeking their own wants and desires and not being fathers. It really breaks my heart. I know how life is but a vapor, and not to spend time with our kids is such an injustice. Who will raise them, teach them values, morals, right from wrong and good from evil. That is what is wrong with this world. Not many make that sacrifice to step up to the plate and be fathers. As a teacher I have seen hundreds of children without their Dads in their lives. We can only hope and pray for them.

Great Song...Great Lesson to be Learned | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/18/09

Our society is definitely screwed-up! I remember as a child asking my dad to play catch with me and as he sat in his big leather chair with his legs elevated, he simply said, "I'm too tired!!" I vowed that someday when I had kids that I would never be too tired to play with my kids. My wife and I have 3 boys and I never once said no to playing ball with them. There have been times when it has been 100+ degrees out, but I still dragged myself off the couch to be with them. What a wonderful experience! I hope every dad realizes the most important thing they can give their child is TIME! Once time is gone, it can never be restored.

beautiful | Reviewer: MICHELLA | 11/22/08

harry was a good writer. his song cats in the cradle spoke to me. if he was still alive to day i would tell him how wonderful his songs where. my dad used to rock me to sleep to that song while he was singing it to me in a hushed tone. my dad saw the accsadent he was in. it was very sad and scary moment.

such a beautiful song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/21/08

i do not have any children but this song touches everybody who listens to it. As quiet rightly said by the comments above time goes by so quick and children grow up so fast and we have to appreciate every second we have with our loved ones. it gives me goose bumps every time i listen to it!

life | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/24/08

I grew up on this song and was just listening to it with my one month old son last night while we waited for his 18 and 16 year old siblings to come home for dinner.

The first time I ever heard it was when I was in Elementary school. My music class performed it for a group of elderly people at a nursing home. It must have been 35 years before I realized just how cruel and insensitive that was on the part of the school staff.

Many people have criticized the extremes I was willing to go to in order to stay home with my older children and homeschool them to high school age, but when I look back over my parenting journey, I don't wish for a bigger house or a nicer car or more Mighty Morphin Power Rangers action figures, I wish I had not been so distracted by my ex and worrying about appearances and finances and cleaning the house and watching TV and playing on the internet and if I had it to do over again, I would remember just how brief childhood is and treasure every second....

Oh yea. I have a one month old son. I DO get to do it again. :)

Long Ago.............. | Reviewer: cathy | 12/31/07

I used to somewhat jokingly tell my husband at the time,(early 80's) to listen to this song, because, it was what our life was about. Our middle son, was so much like his dad, even at a young age. Now the middle son is 26, went through college, has a successful job as an architect, and has moved away. We see him maybe twice a yr. if lucky. He has married, but no children. My ex-husband, does not like to be reminded that "his boy is just like him" They are both successful, money is very important, don't get me wrong. "Bond" is family. That is what is important. Spend time with those you love. Life is Short.

really touching | Reviewer: john daniel eneojo | 11/23/07

i first saw cat's in the cradle in james dobson's 'straight talk to men.' indeed the song's a straiht talk to men. they all should hear (and listen to) it. it speaks a message everyday.

Cat's in the Cradle | Reviewer: Sean Mc Crory | 9/29/07

Words alone can not describe this story (song) it effects the heart. We either try to be like our fathers or opposite of them. No matter what, we become as our fathers. The words to this has always brought tears to my eyes. Harry sang about it while others just thought about it. My mother died 12/06 and my father 03/07. Yesterday I was a child and now I must become and adult. In concert he was he talked to the audience and in life he also helped the hungry, no pun intended. Here's to the IMMOTAL HARRY CHAFIN. He made this world a better place and I know he resides in Heaven and it seems only the good die young.

Great Message | Reviewer: Stacey | 5/18/07

In this world of hustle and bustle, its hard to see what really matters. When I see my husband obsessing over work and not being all that he can as a father, I start singing this song. Makes him realize his son is #1 priority

Life is short | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/13/06

Its so powerful to hear this wonderful song, I have allways loved to hear this song even as a young boy. Not until my father passed away did I relize how true it is. I have taken the time to change the cycle in my family. Money can olny go so far, life is to short to waste on cars houses and other things. I love you dad Tony

Powerful | Reviewer: Jay | 9/14/05

This song touches any parent deep inside their soul. It reminds us that we have to keep our priorities in perspective.

Beautiful song..


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------ Performed by Harry Chapin

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