I Think It Was The 4th Of July (Saturday in the Park)

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Song: Saturday in the Park (1972)

Artist: Chicago

Album: Chicago V (Columbia)

The lyrics, “I think it was the 4th of July” come from the 1972 Chicago song Saturday in the Park, which charted in the U.S. up to No. 3 and was the group’s first gold single. The song was written by keyboardist Robert Lamm, the band’s main songwriter at this time. The lead vocals were shared by Lamm and bassist Peter Cetera.

Saturday in the Park Beginning Lyrics

Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs

According to Chicago saxophonist Walter Parazeider, who was rooming with Lamm in Manhattan on the 4th of July at the time he wrote the song. The inspiration came from after Lamm had spent an afternoon in New York’s central park, which he had filmed. Lamm had seen such a diverse collection of people and activities, such as steel drum players, singers, dancers, and jugglers, that he was very excited. Paradezeider suggested they put music to the experience, which turned out to be something like a soundtrack to the film. The lyrics are simply a joyful and upbeat description of what Lamm saw. The lyrics “I think it was the Fourth of July” or “You’d think it was the Fourth of July” seem to reflect a sort of fascination that there was so much going on in what was otherwise a typical day. According to Parazeider, it actually was the 4th of July, so it is difficult to say if this was just a twist on the events, or, perhaps, a way to get the phrasing to fit.


Listen to (and Watch) Chicago Play Saturday in the Park, Live 1973

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