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Chapin based the song on a poem written by his wife Sandy about her ex-husbands neglectful father. Sandy showed it to Harry as a warning when he was on the road too much and he made it into a song.

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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…

Harry Chapin - Cat's in the Cradle Lyrics


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