"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

Should have tried to do some more
Twenty five or six to four, oh yeah

Feeling like I ought to sleep
Spinning room is sinking deep
Searching for something to say
Waiting for the break of day, ohh

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., Spirit Music Group

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25 or 6 to 4 song meanings
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  • +3
    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 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
  • +1
    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
  • +1
    General CommentI have go agree with Scrappy999 on this one. Why does every song where the lyrics aren't immediately obvious have to be about drugs? Jeez. From what I have heard in interviews with various members of Chicago in the early days, especially Robert Lamm and Pete Cetera, karaoke is right. The song is about not being able to think of anything to write a song about. Now, given that this song was written in the early 70s, it's entirely possible that Lamm was blowing a fatty WHILE he was writing, hoping for a little inspiration, but that's not what the song is ABOUT. When you think about it, the idea of writing a song about writer's block is actually kind of clever. Proves that inspiration is where you find it.
    crazymanmichaelon September 03, 2006   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 CommentThis song means just what Bobby told me it means when he wrote it. It's about writing a song.

    You acid heads, man..... you're really great.

    How about "Sunshine On My Shoulders" - what can you do with that?
    Bart Imaeuson August 25, 2008   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
  • +1
    Song Meaningsome of you people have some weird ideas.

    This song is about staying up all night to finish writing a song/paper/assignment. "Searching for something to say" and "should have tried to do some more". Come on, have none of you ever been there? It's the wee hours of the morning and some huge assignment is due and you just want to sleep but you know you're just going to have to resign yourself to an all-nighter?
    LoveLarkon October 24, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionFor the information of everyone who wasn't around in the 70s, every song you don't understand from then isn't necessarily about drugs. There was a real push to get away from the "I love her but she doesn't love me back" theme of the 50s/60s, and almost any lyric was permissible with that in mind.
    Chicago's other songs said things like "Does anybody really know what time it is?" and they were not really the sort of band who wrote songs about drugs. If a band member says this he is telling the truth!
    To me these lyrics, which I looked up out of curiosity after all these years (not having ever been a big Chicago fan) sound exactly like someone writing a song about being awake around 3:30 in the morning and trying to write a song.
    I'd say that's excatly what they are.
    Ulverstonianon April 01, 2014   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

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