I was watching “The Middle” on ABC where they brought up the meaning of “The Cats in the Cradle” song by Harry Chapin. It was a song I’ve heard many times yet never knew what the lyrics were much less the meaning.
It is a common thing in music. Not knowing the lyrics because usually you can’t understand what they are saying. Not knowing the words, I enjoyed songs on the musical level. Wonderful chords and melodic progression. Tempo and style. All the things that make music candy to your ears.
Back in the days of LP records, you could lay on your bed listening to the Hi-Fi and following along with the lyrics printed on the back of the album cover. That was just before my time. I grew up in the days of cassettes then CDs. Even then, the tape and disk inserts often contained the lyrics. I never really bought physical media though. I usually consumed my music over the air. I never saw the musicians or learned the lyrics. Even now, I don’t like seeing the artists because their real life image is disappointing compared to the image formed in my mind. It’s like seeing that your god is just a man. Examples include Rush and Pink Floyd.
Back to the point. On “The Middle” they kind of explained the meaning of The Cats in the Cradle. I googled the lyrics and listened to the song at the same time. Whoah! Suddenly a whole new appreciation hit me. It was like the song unfolded into the fourth dimension which I was unable to see before.
YouTube suggested viewing “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. It was another beloved song that I did not know the lyrics to yet enjoyed the music itself. This one being a bit more cryptic, as lyrics often are. Searching for the meaning of the song I stumbled onto an analysis explaining what it might mean.
I need to do some more research on songs and their meanings. I suspect they are mostly about love and sex but occasionally there are those that have deep philosophical meanings like The Sound of Silence. I love that kind of thing.