Closing Time (Semisonic song)

Closing Time (Semisonic song)
"Closing Time"
Single by Semisonic
from the album Feeling Strangely Fine
Released March 10, 1998
Format CD
Recorded mid-1997
Genre Post-grunge,[1] Rock, Pop[2]
Length 4:33 (album version)
3:49 (single version)
Label MCA
Writer(s) Dan Wilson
Producer Nick Launay
Semisonic singles chronology
"Closing Time"
"Singing in My Sleep"

"Closing Time" is the title of a song by American alternative rock band Semisonic. It was released in March 1998 as the lead single from their album Feeling Strangely Fine. One of the band's most popular songs, it was written by Dan Wilson and produced by Nick Launay. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1999.[3] It reached number-one on the Modern Rock Tracks.



The book So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star (ISBN 0-7679-1470-8) by Semisonic's drummer Jacob Slichter indicates that the song was written partly in response to the anxious, and at times precarious, state of the band during the opening of Wilson's new bar, The Rehab Lounge, which closed in late 2008;[4] however, Slichter has also indicated that the song was written by Wilson "in anticipation of fatherhood", and that it is about "being sent forth from the womb as if by a bouncer clearing out a bar".[5]

The memorable line repeated throughout the song's stanzas, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" is often mistakenly attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger.[citation needed]

Music video

The music video was directed by Chris Applebaum. It features two continuous shots[citation needed], running side by side on the screen. One side shows the band playing the song in a rehearsal space. The other side features a woman (played by Denise Franco), who is playing the part of the singer Dan Wilson's girlfriend. As the video progresses, Dan and his girlfriend switch sides of screen, as they attempt to meet up. At the end of the video, they both wind up at the same nightclub. However, they still end up missing each other by mere seconds and never meet up. The "trick" of the video is that each shot was done as one long, continuous shot, with no cuts or editing, and therefore relies on proper timing during the filming to get the two sides of the video lined up properly.

Covers and samples

"Closing Time" was the final song in the polka medley "Polka Power!" on "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1999 album Running with Scissors.

In popular culture


  • The song was referenced in the Soultaker episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • The song was featured on the 1998 charitable album Live in the X Lounge.
  • The song was featured in the 2010 film Due Date.
  • The song was prominently featured in the 2011 film Friends with Benefits.


  • In 1998, "Closing Time" was heard right before the credits in the final episode of Melrose Place.
  • The intro to "Closing Time" is briefly heard in the Friends episode "The One with Rachel's Date".
  • The song was used in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "That 90's Show".
  • The song appeared on the MTV cartoon series Daria.
  • The line "you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here" is referenced by Daniel Tosh at the end of an episode of Tosh.0.
  • The chorus of "Closing Time" was used by the character of Barney Stinson in the episode "Three Days of Snow", the 13th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 77th overall. Barney quotes "Closing Time" after last call at MacLaren's.
  • On a Season 8 episode of The Office, it's revealed that new manager Andy Bernard ends every work day by leading the office in singing Closing Time.

Chart positions

Chart (1998/2011) Peak
Australia ARIA Charts 40
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 2
Dutch Top 40 84
New Zealand Singles Chart 50
UK Singles Chart 25
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 11
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40 6
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 13
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
Chart (2011) Peak
Australia ARIA Charts 40

See also


  1. ^ Post Grunge+
  2. ^ Billboard 21 Feb 1998
  3. ^ "41st Grammy Awards - 1999". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  4. ^ Slichter, Jacob (2004). So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star. New York: Broadway Books. p. 135. ISBN 0767914708. 
  5. ^ A Hit Single and the Heart-Wrenching Story Behind it, by Claudia Ricci, The Huffington Post, posted February 8 2011, retrieved February 27 2011

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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