Saturday In The Park

Album: Chicago 5 (1972)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • Chicago's main songwriter, Robert Lamm, wrote this after a particularly exhilarating 4th of July spent in New York's Central Park, where there were steel drum players, singers, dancers and jugglers. Lamm and Peter Cetera sang lead on the track.
  • Robert Lamm based the melody of this song on "You Won't See Me" by The Beatles, something he openly admitted.
  • like most Chicago singles, this didn't chart in the UK. In America, however, it was their biggest chart hit to that point and also their first gold single, which at the time meant selling more than a million copies ("25 Or 6 To 4" somehow was never certified gold).
  • This song contains some of the most famous nonsense singing in rock: after Robert Lamm sings the line, "Singing Italian songs," he sings some made up words approximating the Italian language.
  • In the 2000 Adam Sandler film Little Nicky, this song was used for comedic effect when it was played backwards to show that it contains satanic messages.

    Other movies to use the song include The Spirit of '76 (1990) and My Girl (1991). TV series to feature the song include The Sopranos (2002), My Name Is Earl (2005) and Fringe (2011).
  • Chicago and Robin Thicke performed part of this song at the 2014 Grammy Awards in a medley of Chicago's hits leading into Thicke's song "Blurred Lines." The occasion: Chicago's first album entering the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Comments: 41

  • Mike from Earth Always thought this song was about racism. I believe Robert was stricken by the brotherhood and love he experienced in the park and everyone getting along. If we want it really want it...
  • Catharine CarpenterThe Italian words are NOT gibberish. "eh, cumpari, ci vo sunari" is the title of a song made famous by Julius LaRosa. I don't understand why people on these lyrics sites don't try to find out what the real lyrics of a song are, instead of making up their own nonsensical words or phrases.
  • Mike from Grand Blanc MichiganI think the song is about a guy who has died and is in heaven. Everyday in heaven is great like the 4th of July and everybody loves everyone, and everyday is a celebration all is not lost, if you want it really want it
  • Jim from Redding, CaThe 'bronze man' referred to in the song who 'still can tell stories his own way', could be a reference to the bronze statue of Hans Christian Anderson the famous Danish storyteller fairy-tales like the "The Ugly Duckling","The Little Mermaid", "The Emperors New Clothes" etc. His statue is located near the lake where Lamm would very likely have walked and the statue is seated telling a story to a young wandering duck. The bronze Shakespeare statue is another possible referent, but Shakespeare wasn't exactly called a "story teller" - he was most often called a playwright and poet.
  • Tony from San DiegoDanny Seraphine is amazing on the early Chicago albums...what taste.
  • Joe from Charlotte, NcI can relate what a lot of you have said about this song. I've loved this song since in my teens. I am 50 now and still love it! It is such a happy upbeat song that wipes away problems and worries whenever I hear it. To me, it's a song that should be how life should be lived... Happy and worry free. There is no prejudice or hate in this song, just happiness and a good time. Everyone should feel this way while listening to it. It makes me want to run in the street and belt out the song. LOL
    I'm not a huge Chicago fan, but I always liked them. Very talented musicians. I just recently watched the CNN special about Chicago. It was very good and learned a lot about them.
  • Circe801 from Rock Hill, ScAlways heard the last 'Italian' word as 'Notre' (night). The rest sounds - as noted in 'the notes' above - like nonsense words...
  • Don from Chicago"Saturday in the Park" was inspired by walk Robert Lamm took through New York's Central Park on a fourth of July (probably 1971). While there are many bronze statues there, he has stated in interviews that the "bronze man" refers to Terry Kath, perhaps because Terry had been working on a sun tan.
  • M from Washington, DcThe Italian lyric is "Eh Cumpari, ci vo sunari", means roughly "Hey Buddy, what's that sound". It's the first two lines from the popular Italian childrens song.
    Lamm appears to slur it intentionally in the studio version, but you can hear the words clearly in the following live video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTFD1C4tVIg)
  • John from Boston, MaI always heard the first part of the Italian lyrics as "Eh cumpari", which is real Italian for "Hey buddy". I have no clue on the second part, but would love to find out.
  • Brian from Boston, MaFor me this one of the first songs I ever remember hearing as a young child.My sister had the album and played it often.I can't help but to be in a good mood when I hear this song.The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.Whats not to like? Sun, BBq's,the beach baseball.To Jerry from Albany I think the bronze man spoken of in this song refers to a statue in the park.Perhaps one of historical significance.Anyway I am writing this on Saturday July 3rd 2010 looking foward to tommorow.
  • Jerry from Albany, NyFor me, the funny thing about the "bronze man" lyric is that when I first heard it, I thought he was singing "Bronx man", which made more sense to me than the actual Lamm lyric. I love Lamm's piano part on this song. Peter Cetera provides a great bass line, and James Pankow's horn arrangment was right on the money. A true Chicago classic.
  • James from Yucaipa, CaGreat song. I remember in 1972 when it first played on wcro am radio in Johnstown, Pa. Tomorrow will be sat,july 4th.2009 & ill be in the park. Chicago has always been one of my favorite bands.
  • Vinny from Toronto, OnThere's no doubt that the "bronze man" telling stories is the bronze statue of William Shakespeare in Central Park. 'nuff said
  • Dave from Easton, PaThanks to Hypatia, Washington DC. I always wondered about that part of the song.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cavery cool re-chord as Bob Wooler used to say.
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesI did love this song but when I realised they sang all is not lost really turned me off. That is just so negative.And the reason this song did not get to the top position.All of what is not lost?
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesI always thought it was Listen children all night long.If they sang all is not lost there would not be children to talk to because Earth was obliterated.All lost GONE.
  • Hypatia from Washington, DcThe faked Italian lyrics sound like
    "ekko var-reh, is-seh na-teh..."

    The first word (ecco) is actually a real word in Italian, which may have been accidental. It means 'Here is...' or 'Behold...' The fourth word (nate) is the feminine plural form of nato 'born'. The other words do not exist in Italian.
  • Barry from Boston, MaPLEASE fix the lyrics. The songwriter himself says that it's "bronze man" and not "bardsman" (see http://www.robertlamm.org/lyrics_1972.html). Yes, "bardsman" would have been a legitimate word for Robert Lamm to use, but he made a different poetic choice. Let's respect it. Thanks!
  • Keith from Irving, TxGreat song from a truly great album! Ranks right up there with "Just You and Me" as one of the group's best tunes. BTW, the line about the "bronze man" might refer to the bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Chicago's Lincoln Park.
  • Big Ed from Pulaski, TnAgain another song that brings backs good memories with my aunt. I love everything from Chicago, GREAT 70's band!!!!!
  • Casey from New York, NyEicay varee', eisee' nardee' is the Italian part of the song
  • Kirsten from New York, NyLove this song. I am a bit obsessive because it drives me crazy where it says "fake italian lyric" because I want to know *exactly* what Lamm is singing there so I can sing along! I can't tell from listening to him, though. I even went on Babelfish and looked up "if you want it, really want it" in Italian, but it didn't sound like what he's saying. Anyone?
  • Glenna from Brunswick, MeNot "bardsman." The band Chicago's official site says "bronze man." As in, a bronze statue of a guy still has its own stories to tell. (If they wanted to say "bard," they prob'ly woulda just said "bard.") "Bardsman" only gets 459 hits on Google, so it can't be THAT well known. :)
  • Todd from Prosper, TxA bronze man still can tell stories his own way

    nope.
    bards are storytellers from medieval times.
    bards are often referred to as 'bardsmen'

    knowing that, you can clearly hear that the lyrics in this line are, in fact:

    A bardsman still can tell stories his own way
  • Darrell from Dallas, TxSong reminds me of being in grade school and not having a care in the world.
  • Lynn from Snohomish, WaI love this song! It makes me feel good, and a little sad for days gone by. Love the horns when they crescendo right before "listen children..." Growing up in a small town, July 4th was always my favorite holiday with the parade, carnival and fireworks, and family and neighbors coming over for a picnic, and all the excitement leading up to the day. Then in 1975 the memory of Mike and my first kiss. I also saw Chicago in concert (my first) at the Coliseum in Seattle in 1976. They rocked the house!
  • Michelle from Wilmington, DeThis is a great song, carefree and happy! I also love "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is"? Love the melody and the catchy-ness of the lyrics.
    Michelle, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Anthony from Nyc, NyThis song endures because it celebrates life's simple pleasures: people, music, laughing, summer. Here's some silly trivia: If the song was released in 1972 ... what was the most recent year Chicago could be singing about in which Independence Day fell on a Saturday? : )
    - Tony, NYC
  • Don from Phoenix, AzThis song reminds me of attending Orioles games in old Memorial Stadium; while the players took BP and infield before Sunday afternoon games, the scoreboard would carry the results from the previous day's games...to this tune. Always makes me remember nice days at the ballpark.
  • Greg from Victoria, CanadaI liked it as well as Chicago themselves...while not a A+ band... a damned good band and pleasant song that needs no insightful interpetation.Good tune.
  • Rob Mcmahon from Woodbury, Nj"reminds me of the park by independance hall in Philly....must of heard it there when i was a kid..."

    If I'm not mistaken, one year they did play on the 4th in the park.
    The crowd went nuts when the line came up.
  • Colleen from Chicago, IlI'm 22, and this is my favorite classic song ever. What a great upbeat song :)
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI meant, btw, the show was amazing!!!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI saw Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire perform in Charlotte North carolina. They did a set in which they performed together, and this was one of the songs they did. Btw, hthe whow was amazing!!!
  • Rob from Vancouver, Canadareminds me of the park by independance hall in Philly....must of heard it there when i was a kid
  • Don from Atlanta, GaAttended several Chicago concerts in the 1980's. They'd start out with new material, get modest crowd reaction. Then... they'd start into their old material with Saturday in the Park. The crowd would suddenly come alive, explosive, hugely enthusiastic. I could always see a big smile on Robert Lamm's face when he'd see the reaction to his song even after all these years.

  • Andrew from TorontoYou guys are bang on Stepanie and Pete.Every time I hear this song it never fails to have a positive effect on my day and that,s truly something that is lacking in music these days.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYou're right Pete! The song makes me really happy too! It's a great song!
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiagood ,happy song......just reminds me of getting out and an enjoying life
see more comments

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