"25 or 6 to 4" as written by and Robert Lamm....
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
Twenty five or six to four

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
Twenty five or six to four

Feeling like I ought to sleep
Spinning room is sinking deep
Searching for something to say
Waiting for the break of day
Twenty five or six to four
Twenty five or six to four


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"25 or 6 to 4" as written by Robert Lamm

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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25 or 6 to 4 song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentIn doing further research, I found that the author of the song says the title IS in reference to the time of day...25 or (2)6 minutes until 4 A.M. I believe the author.
    mfryon June 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe first time I read the lyrics of the song I thought it had to do with the time and writing. I also suspected it may have been influenced by drugs. Often writers are in altered states while writing. Why couldn't Lamm be telling the truth about the song and STILL have been on something. Despite Skaball's assertion that "Chicago as a whole was anti-drugs," Lamm, in the same original interview where he described the song's meaning/origin, was also quite candid about the bands history of drug usage. So, yeah, they were high. A lot. Thus, it may be safe to assume that as he did drugs and wrote music, he may (and almost certainly did) combine the two activities. Why wouldn't this have been one of those times. It seemed obvious to me decades before I heard the interview, the first time I hard the song and read the lyrics. (I won't comment on my state of mind at the time, though ;) )
    SocietysPlierson December 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt simply amazes me that you wanna-be drug heads (and prob had a few too many) still wanna link certain songs with drugs when it is obvious that they are not. Does it bother you that much that a song can just be simple and be about what it clearly says in the lyrics without having deep , underlying drug references? Well when you get your band together, you can spend all your time being a lyrical drug referencing ninja. lol good luck with that
    Petmonkeyon January 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI could be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that the song was about the band being pressured by the record company to get an album out, the lyrics are about staying up all night trying to come up with new songs.
    Hildeon May 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe clock thing sounds pretty good, but wouldn't that be 24 or 6'til 4...or maybe 25 or 5 'til 4? Either way, the title says to 4, not 'til 4, right?
    mfryon June 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf it is the upside down clock that's amazingly creative...even if not I still love the song. We got to play a version in jazz and it was the best thing we've ever played.
    thinkitbeiton July 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmfry is right, the song title means Twenty-five or Twenty-six to Four-O-Clock. Hilde is also correct that the song is about writing a song. He is up late writing and doesn't know if he should keep going or not. Another interesting (though untrue) theory about the title is that is a mathematical ratio for cutting cocaine.
    Strutnut23on September 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, i heard that it meant to get into chicago there was Rt. 25 to get there or you can take rt 6 then onto rt 4
    Bluron September 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis has got to be one of the most intriguing songs ever. I am inclined to agree with 25 or 26 minutes til four in the morning trying to write a song. We all know that you can only write when either depressed or joyous; status quo just is not inspirational enough.
    penguinjeffon June 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hate to jump on the drug bandwagon (there's always some schmuck trying to tell you that any given song is about drugs, even if it's something like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"), but there are some parts of this song that remind me of drug usage..."Wondering how much I can take, should I try to do some more", and "Spinning room is sinking deep" all seem to be references to being stoned. Of course, that's pretty ambiguous, I realize, and that may very well not be the meaning of the song, I'm just saying that's what it reminds me of.
    ApollyonCrashon June 21, 2003   Link

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