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The Cat's In The Cradle Analysis

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The genre of “The Cat’s in the Cradle” is primarily folk rock. Folk-rock is described as taking “the simple, direct songwriting style of folk music” and then combining it to a “prominent rock & roll backbeat” (Pop/Rock, n.d.). Some of the more distinct parts of folk-rock “is the chiming, ringing guitar hooks, coupled with clear vocal harmonies” (Pop/Rock, n.d.). Therefore most folk/rock is primarily composed of release patterns.
During the 1950s and ’60s, American folk music became more and more popular (Holden, 2007). It was inevitable that folk music would become intersected with more mainstream styles of music like pop and rock.. Rock music also was transformed by its intersection with folk. Although previously rock “had been perceived
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The illusion of life works with Chapin’s song because he uses imagery in his lyrics to show a man going through his life from young adulthood to old age, and his son’s like from birth to adulthood. Sellnow explains that “music does not cause or cure feelings”, but instead is a representation for those emotions (Sellnow, 2014). “The Cat’s in the Cradle” strikes a chord with listener’s who have regret over the past, over things and actions that could’ve, or should’ve been done and are now things that cannot be changed. Sellnow states that “music functions rhetorically by representing actual life experiences and emotions as an illusion of life based on the artist’s perspective”, and “in this way, music conveys an argument about how we ought to or ought not to believe or behave” (Sellnow, 2014). The artist is telling the audience how they ought to behave, that they should be there for their loved ones, to always make time for them, before it is too late. The song “The Cat’s in the Cradle” represents the life experiences, emotions, and illusion of life that Harry Chapin experienced as a busy, travelling musician after his son was

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