Cat Stevens DID NOT Sing Cats in The Cradle

I have always been fond of the song Cats in the cradle and when it was released by Ugly Kid Joe back in the 90’s somewhere, I was one of the many people who thought it was a Cat Stevens original.

I was corrected from this mistake when I went to an exhibition somewhere in Toowoomba and there was an art work inspired by Harry Chapin, the actual original singer of Cats in the cradle. This information somehow fed my soul with satisfaction and then questions. Why does everyone insists that this song was sung by Cat Stevens???

Mmmm intriguing.

I was reminded of this quirky conundrum the other day when at the garden a radio was playing and cats in the cradle came on. Everyone that was present thought that Cat Stevens was the original singer!!! I quietly corrected everyone by declaring that it was indeed Harry Chapin.

Here is the original

So, why is this a common error that people make? Was it because they are both from the same decade and had a song with a similar theme? This is Cat Stevens AKA  Yusuf Islam singing about a Father and Son.

I guess it’s just one of those things that muddle people’s heads and now here I am some smarty bum bringing correction to the masses. (Not really masses as I don’t have that many followers). Nevertheless, I hope you are all well informed and when you hear someone innocently make this mistake you can bring correction!!!

11 responses to “Cat Stevens DID NOT Sing Cats in The Cradle

  1. Holy cow, that crowd must be a bit younger; Stevens and Chapin were stars in the 70s. Loved Harry’s bittersweet sad song…:When you comin’ home son?’ “Dad, I don’t know when…but we’ll get together then,Dad, you know we’ll have a good time then…’
    “My boy was JUST LIKE ME.’ UGH!
    Terrible to think of all the time we couldn’t be ‘there’ for our kids, when they were small…then practically in the dark of night, they’re all grown-up, and can’t find much time to be with us….That was such a stark song…it’s words are etched in my brain to this day. Thanks for the nice post and the little quiet moment I got to re-travel a path I walked 40 years ago, in my memory, of course…

  2. Thank you for your clarification, My wife swore it was Cat Stevens who sang “Cats in The Cradle”

    I also think it must be the word “Cats” in the song and the name that confuses people, and of course the similarity in their musical styles.

    Thanks for the info….My wife says “thousands need reeducation about this…”


    BTW, I always knew it was H.C who sang this song….one of rare instances I am right when it comes to betting against my wife…

    • I’m so glad for clearing that up for you🙂
      I think you might be right about the cat word
      My husband always say’s I’m right about everything hahaha

  3. The first time I heard both the original and the Ugly Kid Joe cover was on the radio sometime in the early 90’s — back to back. The DJ first played the UKJ cover (which I loved immediately, and still do) and then the original. The DJ claimed the original was a relatively little known song by Cat Stevens! But when I heard the song, I was pretty sure that the voice was not Cat Steven’s. Still, for the next few months I diligently searched for the tapes (they were cassette tapes back then) in every major music store I could find. I got hold of the UKG album without a problem, but I couldn’t find the CS version anywhere. Most store owners claimed never to have heard of it. There were one or two who showed me one from a different artiste (which must have been Harry Chapin) but since I believed the DJ, i insisted it be Cat Stevens. But, of course, I have since learnt the truth a long time ago. Radio DJ’s can be wrong about the music they’re playing — at least, here in Singapore. The reason I’m posting this is because I thought that mistake was our own Singaporean boo-boo. It surprises me that after that experience of mine more than twenty years ago, the misattribution still perists even in the West.

  4. In 1977 Cat Steven’s released an Album called Cat’s Cradle that did NOT contain the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” but did have “Matthew and Son.” Another similar theme.

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