Recently, on Fridays I have focused on poetry that has meaning and today I want to focus on lyrics from some songs that have meaning to me.

If you are are a regular reader, you know that I recently wrote about Harry Chapin in the context of Pro Bono service. Several young lawyers shared with me that they had not heard of Harry Chapin, but when I told them he wrote and sang: Cat’s in the Cradle, they all knew that song.

Eight years ago I wrote an article for the Texas Bar Journal titled: Strategy for Career and Life. You will see in the article that I wrote a whole section on what I learned from Harry Chapin. In the article I shared lessons from three of my favorite Harry Chapin songs. I want to mention those and share some lyrics here. I think you will find there is a common theme and that is finding what really matters in your life and doing something about it.

Cat’s in the Cradle: (The father was too busy to do anything with the son. Now the father is retired and the son is too busy to see the father).

Well, I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you, if you don’t mind”, he said
“I’d love to, Dad, if I could find the time.
You see my new job’s a hassle and the kid’s with the flu
But it’s sure nice talkin’ to you, Dad,
It’s been sure nice talkin’ to you.”
And as I hung up the phone it occured to me,
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

As Dreams Go By: (This couple started their life with dreams about their career and life, but they never found the time to actually do what it would take to fulfill their dreams. Now, they have grandchildren.)

 There you stand in your tailored suit
So many years gone by, but you’re still so cute
You take the car to go and meet the bus
When our grandchildren come to visit us

You say you should have been a ballerina, babe
There are songs I should have sung
But I guess our dreams have come and gone
You’ve gotta dream when you are young

And so you and I
We watched our years go by
We watched our sweet dreams fly
Far away, but maybe someday

I don’t know when
But we will dream again
And we’ll be happy then
Till our time just drifts away

I Wonder What Would Happen to this World: (This is the epitaph on his grave. What do you think he is saying to us?)

Oh if a man tried
To take his time on earth
And prove before he died
What one man’s life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to this world

I think he is saying that as one person if we really tried to take time before we die to do as much we can to make a difference for others who are in need…I wonder what would happen to this world.