While it was released in 1998, “Closing Time” by Semisonic is still a familiar tune, even today.
Anytime you mention the song to me, I can’t help but start humming it to myself. Whether it’s a familiar tune from the bar, or you loved it in Friends with Benefits in 2011 with Justin Timberlake, it’s an iconic song that most of us can relate to.
Would you believe that we were wrong about what it was about all along???
Open all the doors and let you out into the world
Turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl
One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer
You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”
Sounds like a night out at the bar, right? Pretty straight forward. Not so much. The meaning behind the song is totally different.
“Closing Time” was nominated for the Grammy Away for Best Rock Song in 1999 and reached number 1 on Modern Rock Tracks, so it wasn’t a vague song only 90’s kids remember.
In an interview with Dan Wilson who wrote and produced the song, he explained how people have been misinterpreting the song all along.
The song has a much deeper meaning that we have been missing all along. When Dan Wilson wrote the song, his wife was pregnant with their first child, their daughter, who they named Coco.
“It’s all about being born and coming into the world, seeing the bright lights, cutting the cord, opening up into something deeper and more universal,” Wilson told Mojo.
Just before recording the hit song, Wilson’s wife experienced complications in her pregnancy and Coco was born three months premature, weighing just 11 ounces.
After declining his band-mates offer to postpone recording sessions, the song took on a whole new meaning.
“I know who I want to take me home,” referring to Wilson looking forward to the day he could bring his daughter home from the hospital.
Nearly a year after Coco was born, her parents were finally able to take her home. In February 1998, the day she went home, just happened to be the same day “Closing Time” was released as a single.
While much of the song can be interpreted about the bar, some lines really make sense now!
“This room won’t be open ‘Til your brothers or your sisters come”
When you realize room is actually womb, it changes everything!
Now because it’s stuck in your head, here’s the song: