"Cat's in the Cradle" is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. As Chapin's only #1 hit song, it became the best known of his work and a staple for folk rock music.
The lyrics to the verses of the song were originally written as a poem by Chapin's wife, Sandy Chapin, who is credited as the song's co-writer.
The song was notably covered by Ugly Kid Joe.
The song is told in first-person by a father who is too busy to spend time with his son. Though the son repeatedly asks him to join in childhood activities, the father always responds with little more than vague promises of spending time together in the future, peppered with images from nursery rhymes. While the son longs to spend time with his father, he continues to admire his father.
The chorus refers to the following nursery rhymes: Hey Diddle Diddle, Little Boy Blue and Man in the Moon.