The Real Meaning Behind Semisonic's "Closing Time" Made Me Cry

If you're about my age *cough* early thirties *cough* then you'll remember the song "Closing Time" by Semisonic. It was released in 1998 and like a lot of people I've always thought it was about the end of a night out. You know, when the bartender calls time and everyone starts to pile out of the pub or bar. It's a great song and I've often found myself singing along to it, reliving funny nights out.


Only tonight, over a decade later, I've learned the real meaning behind this song. And as a mother of two boys, it really resonated with me. It's beautiful. I cried. And you probably will too. 

Have a little watch of this YouTube clip featuring Dan Wilson of Semisonic, where he performs the song and explains the meaning behind it. It's pretty funny to watch, but I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to Closing Time now without thinking of my son's birth and shedding a happy little tear. 

Skip to about 3:22 if you don't want to watch the whole thing.


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  1. Aaah this is so sweet!!! I had TOTALLY forgotten about this band too! When I first read your post, I couldn't remember how 'Closing Time' went — then as soon as the first chords began, I remembered it instantly! What a great movie clip :)

    Caro |


  2. How strange! I was one of the many that really honestly thought this was about a bar or maybe a a relationship ending or something its funny how different it sounds once you understand its meaning!

  3. I love how much the real meaning behind a song can change the way you hear it! I'd never heard of the band until now so thank you for sharing :)
    Love lucinda xx

  4. It's often so strange to find out the real meanings behind songs, how often they mean something completely different. x

  5. I LOVE this, I wrote my final post on my old blog last year entitled 'closing time' because I was thinking of this song, love the origins of it.

  6. I've always liked this song and always thought there was a deeper meaning than the face value of the lyrics but I didn't know what it actually meant for them.

  7. I somehow stumbled upon semisonic when I was having a tough time as a teen, and like Oscar thought there was something more to it but had no idea what I'm sure the teen me would have been horrified, but the grown up mummy me just smiles that something that got me through a tough time was about something so amazing!

    I related to the lyrics back then and I relate to them now :-)

  8. I went to uni in 1999 and this ended every Friday night at the union. It always made me feel a little sad because it is so sweetly hopeful x

  9. Oh wow, I love this song. Love it even more now :)


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