Semisonic’s “Closing Time” got a lot of radio play in the late nineties, and a lot
drunk people spent a lot of stoned time discussing just what it might mean. Sure, it sounded like it was about getting kicked out of a bar at the end of a night out, but it seemed like it had to be about a lot more than that. I was a college student at the time, so I thought the song was about graduating and leaving college and having to go out into the real world, but that was wrong too. “Closing Time” is about babies.
No, really. Kavin Senapathy at Grounded Parents has a video of Semisonic lead singer Dan Wilson performing the song live recently, and Wilson says the song is about childbirth. Once he says it, it’s impossible to imagine how you didn’t realize it at the time, because it’s really overtly about a baby being born.
Wilson explains the whole thing during the song here:
Open all the doors and let you out into the world
Turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl”
It seems very obvious now. I have no idea how I never realized that this was a song about being born. And now, magically, it has gone from a melancholy chorus about existential ennui to a raging tear-jerker. Stupid mom hormones!
“I know who I want to take me home.”
What did you think this song was about?