|"Saturday in the Park"|
|Single by Chicago|
|from the album Chicago V|
|Robert William Lamm|
|James William Guercio|
|Chicago singles chronology|
"Saturday in the Park" was very successful upon release, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's highest-charting single at the time, helping lift the album to No. 1.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.
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.
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!".