Semisonic's "Closing Time" is not the bar room party song you think it is

The goth/industrial clubs I used to frequent would shut down the dancefloor by turning up the lights and playing The Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Watching a collection of silk, lace, leather & PVC clad drug-fucked kids line-dancing to it at 4am was quite a sight. :slightly_smiling_face:


First that’s corny. Second it’ll back fire badly since people do want to hang around and listen to that garbage. And have a spontaneous sing a long. And order another round. Playing this at last call is bush league.

I always used The Piano Has Been Drinking


Because bar staff want the stragglers gone at closing time more than they want to not hear shitty songs. One bar I frequented for a while had a playlist of shitty songs that they’d start at 15 minutes til kick out time.

One that I used to go to would use the Muppet Show Theme for that purpose.


When I worked in Tower Records we would often close the shop with Florence Foster Jenkins:


Sure sends me packing. Goom Byyyyyyy

1 Like

I don’t think I’d ever call so downbeat a tune a “party song”

It was the go to for kicking people out of my local gym , as well.

I got that album, and I really liked it at the time. Their song Mary Mary from that album I recall was in the film Stigmata, one of my faves on that album.

I think The Goodship Lifestyle was my favorite after Tubthumping.

I"m with you - I always through the bar was life and it was time to go home.

Again, if people didn’t universally think the song was about last call you wouldn’t be commenting about it right now. If it was loud and clear it was about taking a baby home it wouldn’t have been broadcast for you to hear. Everyone who heard it would say “okay that’s weird”. The artist benefitted from the alternate, obvious and purposful misinterpretation he aimed for.

Again, it’s not misinterpretation, it’s one interpretation of a song whose lyrics have several.


The originalist
/textualist orienation is the only one that applies to art. If they say closing time - it’s only about closing time. If they say my little red rooster - it’s about chicken.


Trimmed, the statement still works.

Best music to clear a bar is always going to be “Pulse Demon” by Merzbow. The remastered version has extra zhuzh.

1 Like

I’m a little flabbergasted here… This is not the song only that makes reference to closing time or even that is called “Closing Time.” In every single one of those cases it is a metaphor.

Also, the Beatles did not live in a yellow submarine.

(But also, if bars play this near closing time as a party song then it is exactly the bar room party song you think it is. If bars play Hey Ya at closing time then it is a bar room party song even though it’s very bluntly about failed relationships. If bars somehow played Falling Back in Field of Rape by Current 93 at closing time it would be a barroom party song even though it’s a 15-minute atrocity set vaguely to music.)

1 Like

If you’re feeling slightly more mainstream, there is always Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music… or early Neubauten.


Or if less so, this oughta work:


In exactly the same sense that “Born in the USA” by Springsteen is a redneck party anthem.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.