Who can forget the haunting words of Harry Chapin’s 1974 hit song “Cat’s in the Cradle?” As a child I could sing along with the memorable refrain:
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.”
Even as a child something about this song got to me. I couldn’t put a finger on it but it made me sad somehow. Perhaps it was the tune, maybe it was Chapin’s voice, possibly even the words themselves, or maybe a combo of all three. Growing up, I “knew” (though didn’t completely understand) that it was about a dad who never really made time for his son, then watched in sadness as his son grew up and had no time for him either. He finally came to the tragic conclusion, “He’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me.” (Even as I type this I’m fighting back tears.)
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