The song “25 or 6 to 4” appeared on “Chicago II” and was written by organist/vocalist Robert Lamm. The title and lyrics have puzzled many since it appeared in 1970. Some say it’s a drug reference, suggesting a unit of measurement involving the quantity of joints that can be rolled from a what-used-to-be dime bag. Some feel it’s about looking for spiritual revelation, undergoing a mysterious soul-searching journey.
Lamm explained on The Chris Isaak Hour: "I was living with a bunch of hippies up above Sunset Strip. One of the advantages of this particular house was that it was in the Hollywood Hills and I could look out over the city late at night. I wanted to try to describe the process of writing the song that I was writing. So, 'waiting for the break of day, searching for something to say, flashing lights against the sky' - there was a neon sign across the city. That song came from the fact that it was 25 or 6 to 4 a.m. in the morning when I looked at my watch - I was looking for a line to finish the chorus".
Terry Alan Kath (January 31, 1946 – January 23, 1978) was an American musician and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the rock band Chicago. He played guitar and sang lead vocals on many of the band's early hit singles. He has been praised by the band for his guitar skills and Ray Charles-influenced vocal style.
He acquired a guitar and amplifier when he was in the ninth grade, and his early influences included The Ventures, Johnny Smith, Dick Dale, and Howard Roberts. He was later influenced by George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix.
Waiting for the break of day Searching for something to say Dancing lights against the sky Giving up I close my eyes Sitting cross-legged on the floor 25 or 6 to 4
Staring blindly into space Getting up to splash my face Wanting just to stay awake Wondering how much I can take Should have tried to do some more 25 or 6 to 4
Feeling like I ought to sleep Spinning room is sinking deep Searching for something to say Waiting for the break of day 25 or 6 to 4 25 or 6 to 4
Songwriters: Robert Lamm
25 or 6 to 4 lyrics © Spirit Music Group, BMG Rights Management