Reporter's Notebook

Songs Inspired by Parenthood
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Readers pick their favorites and the memories associated with them. Submit your own to, and listen to the Spotify playlist as it grows here.

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Track of the Day: 'Cats in the Cradle'

A bittersweet entry from a reader:

Thank you for creating and curating this list of parenthood songs; my wife and I love it! (Also, Track of the Day is great for this non-musical pleb : )

Check out Everclear’s “Father of Mine” and Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle.” Both songs slay me … but hey, I’ve got absentee-dad issues. Since I’m so damn determined to break the cycle with my two miraculous sons, these songs hit me HARD. I have to spend several minutes afterwards just collecting my shit.

Full lyrics for Chapin’s song below:

A reader writes:

I think Jack Johnson’s “You Remind Me of You” fits well in your “songs inspired by parenthood” playlist. The lyrics are self-deprecating from the point of view of Jack/Daddy (not far off from Paul Simon in “St. Judy’s Comet”), and they cleverly radiate love for both mother and daughter. It’s a very sweet and comforting message for a younger child. Plus, my kids love singing the “ba-du, ba-du, ba-dus.”

Full lyrics below:

Another reader builds on a note from Barbara in which she runs through a bunch of covers of songs written by Kate McGarrigle, whose husband is Loudon Wainwright III:

Since you’re doing the genealogical and cultural history of the prolific Wainwright family, you might want to think about an addition to your long-dormant thread on songs inspired by parenthood: Loudon Wainwright III’s “Daughter.” Even though I think the kid in the song is kind of spoiled, I almost always get teary thinking about my daughter when I hear this one.