Cat’s In The Cradle

“”Cat’s In The Cradle” was a combination of a couple of things. Whenever I was on a long drive I would listen to country music, because words would keep me awake more than just music. And I heard a song… I can remember the story, but I don’t remember who sang it or what the title was, but an old couple were sitting at their breakfast table and looking out the window, and they saw the rusted swing and the sandbox, and they were reminiscing about the good old days when all the children were around and then the grandchildren, and how it passed, and now it’s all gone. So that was part of the idea. The other part of the idea – this is always a problem, because Harry [Chapin, her husband who died in 1981 – Ed] introduced the song at all his concerts and said, “This is a song my wife wrote to zap me because I wasn’t home when our son Josh was born.” I was always kind of amused by that because of the fact that we learn life’s lessons too late, right?”Sandy Chapin (390)

Tangled Up Puppet

“Well, it was a real life story. Jamie, who is the eldest of my five children, was probably 12-13 years old. We never had any closed doors in the house, and then all of a sudden she’d be going in her room and closing the door. You know, just acting like a teenage girl. But she was writing in a diary, she was turning from a tomboy into a little pre-teen. I know when I was writing the story, I was writing about Jamie, but I was always thinking, “Well, nobody’s really interested in songs like this.” People are interested in stories about, “I love you and you love me.” And I thought, How can I write this song so it works both ways? But of course it really was about a girl turning into a woman.”Sandy Chapin (390)