One of - and this is debatable, but it's what I think - the best rock songs ever is by a band called Chicago. But the name has always confused me. The song is called "25 Or 6 To 4". What does this mean? It's said repeatedly in the lyrics, but they give no hint as to what it actually means.
"Speculation that the song's lyrics are drug related has been largely dismissed. Lamm himself says that the title is "just a reference to the time of day" and that "the song is about writing a song. It's not mystical." The time of day in reference is 3:35 AM (or 3:34 AM), which would then be 25 (or 26) minutes to 4 AM."
At that time LSD 25 was prevalent and one of the prescription drugs people were doing was methequalone in 400 mg.(version of qualudes). On the side of the pills was the number 624. I doubt very much he was sitting cross legged on the floor trying to write a song on his lap to meet some deadline. It is the position (usually while rocking back and forth) that many people who where tripping late at night would be in. 624 would bring him down to sleep and 25 would continue the trip which he was obviously enjoying. "Spinning room is sinking deep" is hardly an issue when staying up late writing. Writing a song late at night is a good clean story for the masses but more likely at some "hippie house" at that time I would think the drug induced answer would be far more likely and a more memorable experience worth writing a song about. Do you really think I was writing a song at 4 am., gee what a great thing to write a song about? Good luck and believe what you want. Maybe 25 or 6 to 4 is a time for the sake of catchy song but it sounds like a trip either way and going to work is the last thing on someones mind. Been there done that!
Here's your answer.
Most of you are all wrong but the "timing" was right.
Chicago reveals the meaning of '25 or 6 to 4'
Chicago singer/keyboardist Robert Lamm tells how he wrote his mega-hit, "25 or 6 to 4." Source: CNN
"When I wrote '25 or 6 to 4', I was sitting in a room up above where. . .uhh. . . Whiskey a Go Go is on Sunset Strip. I just kind of found that riff, I mean, waiting for the break of day searching for something to say. When I had nothing to say, I made. . .(chuckles). . .I made this song about writing this song. '25 or 6 to 4' indicates the time in the morning, 25 minutes to 4 am. So I was seeing all that, just really describing the whole setting. I usually mean exactly what I say, except when I don't." - Robert Lamm.
This song is about a decision. The subject of the song has been up tripping on LSD (25) all night, but is now faced with this decision, as he is coming down, as to whether or not to attempt to leave the flat to go be responsible (6 to 4 - a typical time period one is away from home during a work or school day). Just about anyone who has tripped on psychedelics on a work night has faced this dilemma and instantly recognizes this scenario. Do I party on fearlessly, or do I go out and face the world?
Even if the stated songwriting meaning was meant, the double entendre is undoubtedly intended. Come on, this was 1970, people!