Saturday in the Park (song)

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"Saturday in the Park"
Saturday in the Park cover.jpg
Single by Chicago
from the album Chicago V
B-side"Alma Mater"
ReleasedJuly 1972
Format7"
RecordedSeptember 1971
GenreSoft rock[1]
Length3:56
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Robert William Lamm
Producer(s)James William Guercio
Chicago singles chronology
"Questions 67 and 68" / "I'm A Man"
(1971)
"Saturday in the Park"
(1972)
"String Module Error: Match not found"
(1972)
"Questions 67 and 68" /
"I'm A Man"
(1971)
"Saturday in the Park"
(1972)
"Dialogue
(Part I & II)
"
(1972)

"Saturday in the Park" is a song written by Robert Lamm and recorded by the group Chicago for their 1972 album Chicago V.

Background[edit]

"Saturday in the Park" was very successful upon release, reaching  No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100,[2] becoming the band's highest-charting single at the time, helping lift the album to  No. 1.[3] Billboard ranked it as the No. 76 song for 1972. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA, selling over 1,000,000 units in the U.S. alone.[4]

According to fellow Chicago member Walter Parazaider, Lamm was inspired to write the song during the recording of Chicago V in New York City on July 4, 1971 (actually a Sunday):

Robert came back to the hotel from Central Park very excited after seeing the steel drum players, singers, dancers, and jugglers. I said, 'Man, it's time to put music to this![5]

However, Lamm recalls the story differently, as he told Billboard magazine:

It was written as I was looking at footage from a film I shot in Central Park, over a couple of years, back in the early ‘70s. I shot this film and somewhere down the line I edited it into some kind of a narrative, and as I watched the film I jotted down some ideas based on what I was seeing and had experienced. And it was really kind of that peace and love thing that happened in Central Park and in many parks all over the world, perhaps on a Saturday, where people just relax and enjoy each other’s presence, and the activities we observe and the feelings we get from feeling a part of a day like that.[6]

In the studio version of the song, the line "singing Italian songs" is followed by "Eh Cumpari" (the title of a song made famous by Julius La Rosa in 1953), and then Italian-sounding nonsense words, rendered in the printed lyrics as "?". Piano, guitar, and vocal sheet music arrangements have often read "improvised Italian lyrics" in parentheses after this line. However, in a film of Chicago performing "Saturday in the Park" at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago in 1972, Robert Lamm clearly sings, "Eh Cumpari, ci vo sunari," the first line of "Eh, Cumpari!".

Chart performance[edit]

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "200 Greatest Soft Rock Songs". entertainment.expertscolumn.com.
  2. ^ "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. ^ "Billboard Albums". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  4. ^ "RIAA searchable certification database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  5. ^ "A Chicago Story". Chicago Records II. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  6. ^ Applefeld Olson, Cathy (June 8, 2017). "Chicago's Robert Lamm Shares Story Behind Writing 'Saturday In the Park,' Talks Ray Charles' Influence". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  7. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.4208&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.4208.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.4208
  8. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07.

External links[edit]