Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle

DigiTrad:
CAT'S IN THE CRADLE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Cat's in the Cradle (parody) (3)
Lyr Add: Parody of The Cat's In The Cradle (39)
Lyr/Chords Req: Cats In the Cradle (3) (closed)
need the digital form 'cat's in the cradle' (3) (closed)
Lyr Req: Cat's in the Cradle (3)


Susanne (skw) 04 Nov 00 - 01:29 PM
Mary in Kentucky 04 Nov 00 - 03:04 PM
Gary T 04 Nov 00 - 03:06 PM
Gary T 04 Nov 00 - 03:14 PM
Mary in Kentucky 04 Nov 00 - 03:17 PM
Mary in Kentucky 04 Nov 00 - 03:19 PM
Gary T 04 Nov 00 - 03:23 PM
Mary in Kentucky 04 Nov 00 - 03:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Nov 00 - 04:34 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Nov 00 - 05:22 PM
Snuffy 04 Nov 00 - 06:32 PM
catspaw49 04 Nov 00 - 06:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 00 - 08:05 PM
catspaw49 04 Nov 00 - 08:17 PM
CamiSu 04 Nov 00 - 08:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 00 - 08:38 PM
catspaw49 04 Nov 00 - 08:39 PM
CamiSu 04 Nov 00 - 09:02 PM
catspaw49 04 Nov 00 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 05 Nov 00 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,sam 08 Feb 05 - 04:03 AM
Blissfully Ignorant 08 Feb 05 - 04:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Feb 05 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Jane 16 Feb 05 - 05:29 PM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Feb 05 - 05:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Feb 05 - 09:03 PM
Thorflyn 16 Feb 05 - 10:51 PM
Gypsy 16 Feb 05 - 10:55 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 05 - 08:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Sep 05 - 09:06 PM
Tig 22 Sep 05 - 09:12 AM
Kenneth Ingham 23 Sep 05 - 06:05 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Sep 05 - 06:12 AM
Kenneth Ingham 23 Sep 05 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Sandy Jo 16 Aug 06 - 09:22 AM
Jeri 16 Aug 06 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,sandy jo 16 Aug 06 - 09:52 AM
Jeri 16 Aug 06 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Sandy Jo 16 Aug 06 - 10:30 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 09 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Ray 17 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM
oldhippie 17 Aug 09 - 01:58 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 17 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 01:29 PM

A friend of mine would like to do his own translation into German of this Harry Chapin song. We found, however, that neither of us knew what exactly the first two lines of the chorus refer to:
The cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little Boy Blue and the Man in the Moon
I suspect it's popular US children's books or TV characters or something. Any ideas? Thanks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:04 PM

Hi Susanne, I found Cat's Cradle here. I've never made this one. All I can do is Jacob's Ladder.

As far as "silver spoon" and "man in the moon," I always thought they were from the nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle.

And then "Little Boy Blue" is a nursey rhyme.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Gary T
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:06 PM

I know "cat's cradle" as a string configuration, where various designs are created by interweaving a longish loop of string around the fingers of both hands. This is a childhood pastime.

"Silver spoon" may have been chosed to rhyme with the next line more than for any other reason. There is a saying "born with a silver spoon in one's mouth", meaning born into significant wealth, and there is a nursery rhyme with the line "and the fork ran away with the spoon", but I don't see how either of these really relates to the song.

"Little Boy Blue" is a nursery rhyme.

"The Man in the Moon" is a characterization of the moon as a face, which it sometimes resembles when full. It's more of a simple childhood concept, dispelled with age and knowledge.

My best guess is that these are a somewhat cryptic and poetic reference to childhood. The meaning might be better conveyed with German cultural images of childhood, but unless "cat's cradle" is known by an equivalent name in Germany, that would mean changing the song's title.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Gary T
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:14 PM

Great link to the cat's cradle, Mary! I'm afraid that neither "siver spoon" nor "the man in the moon" is in the nursery rhyme, though. Here's "Hey Diddle Diddle" (I was wrong about the fork, it was the dish):

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:17 PM

Hey diddle diddle,
the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon

Gary is right. The nursery rhyme doesn't mention silver spoon...and it's just the moon (not the man in the moon.) But it is curious how it mentions cat, spoon and moon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:19 PM

Gary, we've got to stop cross posting like this!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Gary T
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:23 PM

Okay, but exactly how should we cross post, then? VBG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 03:37 PM

1) not fair taking advantage of my computer crash.

2) only post messages that agree with me *VBG*

Seriously, thanks for adding a civil tone to the forum, we sometimes forget to do that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 04:34 PM

There was some discussion of the imagery in the song earlier this year; the relevant bit is here:  Little Boy Blue

Malcolm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 05:22 PM

Thanks to you all! We'd already worked out that he ought to find images relevant for German children (and former children ...), but I'm sure it will help him a lot to know which areas to go for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 06:32 PM

The man in the moon
Came down too soon
And asked the way to Norwich
He went by the south
And burnt his mouth
By eating cold pease porridge

(Children's nursery rhyme)

Wassail! V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 06:55 PM

To keep it simple.......Harry was just using phrases alluding to childhood which is what the song is about.....how quickly it passes and that moments spent with your children are precious. Time comes all too soon that they are gone. Time lost can never be regained, it is time lost forever.

When Karen and I decided I should quit amd become a fulltime Dad and househusband, I wrote my resignation letter to the Fortune 500 I was with saying, "I don't want my life of that of my sons' to wind up like a Harry Chapin song lyric." They had no idea what I was talking about which made the decision infinitely easier.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:05 PM

Anyone feel like posting the lyrics? It might spark of some memories by putting the images in context. (And anyway it sounds an intriguing song.)

Little Boy Blue I've always thought a nursery rhyme with a strange melancholy quality.

Little Boy Blue, come blow on your horn
the sheep's in the meadow the cows in the corn,
where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
He's under the haycock, fast asleep.


It's about things going wrong that can't be repaired. And so is the Man in the Moon, which Snuffy already quoted. And even the cat in the cradle might not be such a gentle image, if you think about it. As in Rock-a-bye Baby, the child might be in some considerable danger...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:17 PM

Hi Mac......This is really a great Harry Chapin piece. Lyrics can be found HERE.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: CamiSu
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:20 PM

I seem to recall that Harry was referring a bit to the spoon in the mouth of the (at least somewhat) priveledged. I'm getting foggy, but I think Sandy was at least in part, responsible for the poetry here. Harry was on the road a LOT when this was written, and Josh & Jenny were little. (I babysat them occasionally). Sandy was not too thrilled to be running the house by herself, and then kind of feeling a bit like "I can do this by myself, what do I need you here for?" Harry resolved to be home more, and I know he tried.

It was kind of fun to be singing 'Cat's in the Cradle' before the album came out. People asked for it a lot.

The last time I saw him he dragged his (then) 7-year-old Josh over to meet my 11-month-old Josh. Neither Josh was much impressed. I couldn't listen to his stuff for years after he died. It just hurt too much. But I'm glad it still gets played. And now I can sing his stuff again. I sang 'Circle' at my sisters wedding, and we all sang it at my Dad's funeral. It seemed apt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:38 PM

Thank for that link 'Spaw - now I've got to hear it sung. Good words, and, now I've seen the words, I think my instinct about the meaning of what the nursery rhymes are there to say is reinforced.

I was clearing out an airing cupboard yesterday for a new boiler we're having put in, and next to where I'm writing, there is a basket full of some of my son's old toy rabbits and bears from long long ago that were at the back. He dropped in for a visit this evening, and picked one up - "that's George" he said in a pleased voice. "and here's that dog I used to pretend was a rabbit."

You made the right choice 'Spaw.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:39 PM

I didn't know you knew him Cami....How did I miss or forget that?........I was and am a true admirer of the man he was. His dedication was all encompassing wasn't it? From the things I know of, it seems he burned the candle at both ends, AND several places in the middle. I'm glad his songs still get played too and I think many will enter the everflowing tradition because they are too good not to. Harry Chapin and Jim Croce gave us a lot of great material and I truly believe that some of the best from both was yet to come.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: CamiSu
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 09:02 PM

Yeah, S'paw. (I did mean to say you definitely made the right choice)

I lived down the street from him and his eldest step-daughter and my sister are best friends. (Martha's first wedding was in Chapin's garden. Jaime was at Dad's funeral as well.) Dad and Harry were on pretty opposite ends of the political spectrum but somehow had a great deal of respect for each other. I think they each saw through to the human inside.

Harry was on fire pretty much everywhere. He supported everything he believed in, and everybody almost regardless. But one of my best memories was of a bunch of us up in the bedroom, all sitting around while he sang the stuff in progress (Where I learned 'Cat's..' and the version of 'Shootin Star' that I still sing), and he was talking to his producer, and Josh pulled the plug on the phone... Harry just laughed. That may also be why driving with him was such a frightening experience... His mind was going in too many different directions. As soon as my brothers got driver's licenses, they ewre presseed into service driving for him. He drove me to Grand Central once. That was enough.

Cami Su


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 09:10 PM

Thanks Cami Su.........Wonderful stuff. I don't recall who it was did the special awhile back on him, but it sure gave you the exact feeling you describe so well. Thanks.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 02:59 PM

Cat's Cradle is explained, and 9 drawings of figures are given in Alice Bertha Gomme's 'The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland', I, pp. 61-63, 1894 (Dover reprint- 1964).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,sam
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 04:03 AM

does anyone still talk/discuss this poem? in 2005


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 04:29 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 07:14 PM

That link Spaw gave to the song has gone to glory. Here's one to it that works, on harrychapin.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,Jane
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 05:29 PM

Hey,
I am trying to find out info. on "The Cat's in the Cradle" song. Who was the original artist and when was it first put out? Did Cat Stevens ever do a cover for this song. Please help!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 05:49 PM

Leaving aside the references in the song's text, about the song itself:

The first time I heard the song I thought it a somewhat clever and an affecting song. "And so true!"

The second time I recognized it, and remembered my original reaction, cited above.

The third and subsequent times I've heard it my reaction has been, "Hey, what a pile of obvious, emetic sentimentality!"

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 09:03 PM

Never heard it, but from reading it I feel the verses lay things out too neatly like a lesson, or a mathematucal exercise. All the working is , and it's "QED" when it's done.

It's all there for us, there's nothing for the listener to add. But I suppose the chorus to some extent might supply that element.

I'd say it's the kind of song that would benefit from being passed around by word of mouth, and weathered a bit to give it texture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Thorflyn
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 10:51 PM

Every child of a divorced parent that I have known Knows this song... I am also trying to make sure my husband and son don't live it... I even quit working before my son was born to make sure he had someone with him rather than putting him in day care and us being a lot more comfortable with the expenses. Not because of the song exactly, but because of what the song is about...

Thorflyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Gypsy
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 10:55 PM

I grew up living this song........still catches me heart strings. T'enny rate, half an eon ago, in small towns, the local jeweler would give new mothers a wee silver spoon, to celebrate the birth of the baby. Still have the one my mother recieved on me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 08:44 PM

Does anyone know why Harry Chapin titled it The Cat's in the Cradle... is there any real deeper meaning?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 09:06 PM

Reading through this old thread I became of some odd twists in the sequence of posts - for example I put in a comment on a post of catspaw well before the actual post turned up. The times and dates are right it appears, but the sequence is all over the place.

Is the Mudcat starting to get senior moments?
...................

There's also Sydney Carter's "The Crow on the Cradle" to get confused with. I wonder if that might have been floating around at the back of Harry Chapin's head when he wrote his song.
    Is McGrath having a senior moment? Our message numbers got scrambled in the Big Crash a few months ago, and that renumbering put the messages out of order.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Tig
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 09:12 AM

I didn't realise until the other day that silver is an antibacterial substance which kills germs on contact. Hence cutlery made with silver is/was far more hygenic. Children fed with a silver spoon (in their mouth) therefore stood a far higher chance of surviving the infantile diseases which were about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Kenneth Ingham
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 06:05 AM

Anybody got the chords? I see an earlier thread is closed and refers to OLGA - whssat?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 06:12 AM

OLGA is OnLine Guitar Archive, and it hangs out at
http://www.olga.net/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Kenneth Ingham
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 07:48 AM

Thanks for that Bonnie - I will put a link to OLGA on my website!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,Sandy Jo
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:22 AM

Who first recorded Cat's in the Cradle?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:40 AM

Harry Chapin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,sandy jo
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:52 AM

do you know if cat stevens ever recorded it?? Small office discussion going on here!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 10:14 AM

He didn't, at least if you want to take Cat Stevens'/Yusuf Islam's word for it.

Cat Stevens wrote a song called Father and Son. That, plus the fact his name was 'Cat' may have lead to the common belief that he sang the Chapin song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,Sandy Jo
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 10:30 AM

Thanks for the info.   Your mentioning "Father and Son" brought back good memories also.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 06:04 PM

Who was the origial song writer and singer of Cat's in the Cradle?
Harry Chapin or Cat Stevens?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM

Chapin. If you buy any of his recordings, go for the live ones. He was far better live than he was in the studio. RIP
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: oldhippie
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 01:58 PM

And he wrote far better songs than "Cat's in the Cradle" that never got much airplay. Listen to "Mr Tanner" or "A Better Place To Be", and always play "Taxi" and "Sequel" back to back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Info req: The Cat's in the Cradle
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM

This may be of interest to Chapin fans:

Chapin Tribute


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 July 4:02 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.