Unable to find work and often saddled with college loans, 20-somethings have been turning empty nests into cluttered ones, forcing their boomer parents -- who once saw the brass ring of retirement as within their grasp -- to rethink their plans to quit working.In honor of this phenomenon (the slick trend-spotter articles, not the adult children moving back in with their parents because the economy went into the tank), p3 is proud to present -- for the first time in public -- the lost verse to Harry Chapin's nearly-prescient 1974 hit “Cat's in the Cradle.”
According to the Pew Research Center, more than 21 percent of adult children ages 25 to 34 are living in multigenerational households, the highest level since the 1950s. While in some cases, the arrangement has drawn families closer, for others this way of living sometimes hits a few rough patches.
My son called me up just the other day,
He said I lost my job, got somewhere I can stay?
The bank foreclosed at ten o'clock today,
And then another came, and took our car away.
You see, it's only for a while, 'til we can manage rent,
Those college loans are making quite a dent.
And as I hung up the phone I realized
My boy would never leave here --
My boy will never leave.
The Cat's back in the Cradle with his laundry, too,
Little Boy Blue and his wife Betty Lou,
When you movin' out, son? I don't know when,
But I'll sure get back to you, Dad,
When your IRA's empty, too.
If your browser won't display the embedded version, click here.
“The Cat's Back in the Cradle” was composed by Mark Bunster, with only the slightest tweaking from the underemployed folks here in the former p3 Political Limerick Division, over a couple of beers on a slow night at a local bar.