Oh yeah, get up
Ow (yeah)
Ow, ow
Well, they say it's kinda frightenin'
How this younger generation swings
You know it's more than just some new sensation
Well, the kid is into losin' sleep
And he don't come home for half the week
You know it's more than just an aggravation

And the cradle will rock
Yes, the cradle, cradle will rock
And I say, "rock on"
Ooh, rock on

And when some local kid gets down
They try and drum him outta town
They say, ya coulda at least faked it, boy
(Could've at least faked it, boy) fake it, boy
At an early age he hits the street
Winds up tied with who he meets
And he's unemployed (unemployed), ow

And the cradle will rock, ow
And the cradle, the cradle will rock
And I say, "rock on"
Oh, say, "rock on"

Have you seen junior's grades?


And when some local kid gets down
They try and drum him outta town
And they say, ya could've at least faked it, boy, faked it, boy
And so in early age, he hits the street
Winds up tied with who he meets
And he's unemployed, his folks are overjoyed

And the cradle will rock
Yes, the cradle, cradle will rock
I say, "rock on," say, "rock on"

Rock on, rock on, rock on (his ain't never been new, babe, child, ow)
Rock on (wow, I said)
Rock on, rock on
Rock on, on, on, on
Rock on, on, on, on
Rock on
Rock on
Rock on

Lyrics submitted by UseYourIllusion

"And The Cradle Will Rock" as written by Edward Van Halen Alex Van Halen

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

And The Cradle Will Rock... song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentIt's about how the young generation can get tied up with the wrong crowd and get into a lot of trouble.
    king nothing2on October 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI originally thought this song was about a new kid in town that didn't fit in and was depressed, or "down". However, "gets down" has multiple meanings. It is slang for "party".

    Notice the lyrics say "local kid gets down", and not "new kid gets down". This is reflecting upon the town, meaning the town is conservative and this song is not about a new kid fitting in, but rather a local kid. "They say, you coulda least faked it, boy", means you could at least try to act like a normal person acts in our town.

    So we have a kid that parties and doesn't come home, and is getting poor grades, in a conservative town where this behavior is not normal. No wonder the cradle is rocking! What significance is the cradle, you ask? A cradle is slang for someone's home.

    After he drops out of school, he's unemployed and "tied with who he meets", meaning he's either stuck couch surfing or in a gang.

    His folks are glad to be rid of him.
    Superdog11on October 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song nailed my ( gen x ) generation perfectly . The van halen boys are boomers so it gave Dave a good perspective . In short i think every generation is looking for something more but the older generation has their set ways they want you to follow. I dont think Dave was making it " cool " to be lofty and lost . His lyrics are quite dark in this . When the kid " hits the streets and winds up tied with who he meets " ...is a perfect line . It could be the guy that finally got a drudgery job and got hooked up with a girl or the rebellious kid screwing around with girls and finally gets one knocked up . Either way , the worn path will capture you . The term " cradle will rock " is basically that you will wind up being a father in the end if that path captures you as it does many .

    The change in music in the early 90s was a manifestation of that rebellious street kid. Many rebelled by not having kids and going into tech jobs etc , or just killing themselves with heroin .

    They are great lyrics . I remember listening to them in the 80s getting a short window into that dark reality - now thats all i see .
    truth11516on April 14, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song but can somebody explain the meaning here??
    letitrockon October 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about adolesence, doing crazy things when your young and the shit you get from your parents.
    Rocket_Queenon April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the two above. its a pretty easy song to understand.
    mastermwon February 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis is like the best Van Halen song.
    runningwiththedevilon May 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOMG having a baby? Really?

    This song is from the late 70's and is about a teenager misbehaving and ignoring his parents rules while running around smoking pot and listening to rock music. Have you seen JRs grades? Because the kids grades have plunged now that he is partying all the time.

    The Part about you could have at least faked it boy, His parents things he hates them and they are saying you could have at least acted like you loved us even if you didn't and they eventually become happy to see him fail.
    mrobviouson February 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"It's kinda frightenin' how this younger generation swings." refers to the hard-drug-using adolescents of the 70's.
    "It's more than just a new sensation. Well, the kid is into losin' sleep and he don't come home for half the week... Rock on..."
    This is alluding to cocaine, which induces insomnia and addiction. The term "rock" is commonly used in classic rock songs to refer to cocaine because the substance's form resembles white rocks; see, "Let's Get Rocked" by Def Leppard.
    "It's more than just an aggravation." - It's a lifestyle, one that is damaging to the body.
    Alas, the subtle glorification of an addictive, dangerous drug via the music industry at the will of TPTB for experimentation and exploitation.
    h7opoloon September 16, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI think that it also alludes that the guy gets a girl pregnant and ends up with her. Thus a baby would be in the cradle that rocks.
    DragonMaster92on March 28, 2011   Link

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