I’ve recently started to listen to Pandora Radio, have since been discovering old bands and artists from the 60s and 70s that I had never heard of, whose songs I really, really like. Mostly for their lyrics, but lots have very catchy tunes as well, that had become classics over the years.

One song that I found had very striking lyrics is Cat’s In The Cradle by Harry Chapin.

Based on his own relationship with his son, the song is about a father who’s too busy to spend time with his son. As the son grows up, he grows to be just like his father, too busy to spend time with him. Here’s how it begins:

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 talkin’ ‘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 on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

And then the chilling ending:

I’ve long since retired, 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 can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids 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 on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then