"Closing Time" as written by Jay Joyce and Christopher T. Feinstein....
Ah we're drinking and we're dancing
And the band is really happening
And the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
And my very sweet companion
She's the angel of compassion
She's rubbing half the world against her thigh
And every drinker every dancer
Lifts a happy face to thank her
The fiddler fiddles something so sublime
All the women tear their blouses off
And the men they dance on the polka-dots
And it's partner found, it's partner lost
And it's hell to pay when the fiddler stops
It's closing time
(Closing time)
(Closing time)
(Closing time)

Yeah the women tear their blouses off
And the men they dance on the polka-dots
And it's partner found, it's partner lost
And it's hell to pay when the fiddler stops
It's closing time

Ah we're lonely, we're romantic
And the cider's laced with acid
And the holy spirit's crying, where's the beef?
And the moon is swimming naked
And the summer night is fragrant
With a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
Down the snakes and up the ladder
To the tower where the blessed hours chime
And I swear it happened just like this
A sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
The gates of love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
But closing time
(Closing time)
(Closing time)
(Closing time)

I swear it happened just like this
A sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
The gates of love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
(I can't say much has happened since)
We're closing time
Closing time

I loved you for your beauty
But that doesn't make a fool of me
You were in it for your beauty too
And I loved you for your body
There's a voice that sounds like god to me
Declaring, (declaring) declaring,declaring that your body's really you
And I loved you when our love was blessed
And I love you now there's nothing left
But sorrow and a sense of overtime
And I missed you since the place got wrecked
And I just don't care what happens next
Looks like freedom but it feels like death
It's something in between, I guess
It's closing time
(Closing time)
(Closing time)
(Closing time)

Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex
Looks like freedom but it feels like death
It's something in between, I guess
It's closing time

Yeah we're drinking and we're dancing
But there's nothing really happening
And the place is dead as heaven on a Saturday night
And my very close companion
Gets me fumbling gets me laughing
She's a hundred but she's wearing
Something tight
And I lift my glass to the awful truth
Which you can't reveal to the ears of youth
Except to say it isn't worth a dime
And the whole damn place goes crazy twice
And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
But the boss don't like these dizzy heights
We're busted in the blinding lights
Of closing time
(Closing time)
(Closing time)
(Closing time)

The whole damn place goes crazy twice
And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
But the boss don't like these dizzy heights
We're busted in the blinding lights
(Busted in the blinding lights)
Busted in the blinding lights
Of closing time
Closing time

Oh the women tear their blouses off
And the men they dance on the polka-dots
It's closing time
And it's partner found, it's partner lost
And it's hell to pay when the fiddler stops
It's closing time
I swear it happened just like this
A sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
It's closing time (closing time)
(Closing time)
(Closing time)
(Closing time)

The gates of love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
But closing time (closing time, closing time, closing time)

I loved you when our love was blessed
I love you now there's nothing left
But closing time
I miss you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex


Lyrics submitted by bambi3k, edited by Click57

"Closing Time" as written by Christopher T. Feinstein Jay Joyce

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Closing Time song meanings
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30 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about closing time at a bar, and the end of the world:

    The whole damn place goes crazy twice
    And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
    But the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
    We're busted in the blinding lights,
    Busted in the blinding lights
    Of Closing Time

    There is a reference to revelations, where everybody goes crazy for the anti-christ, then the second coming occurs and everybody goes crazy for Christ. At the same time its just about a bar. Cohen has a wonderful ability to capture the divine in the mundane...Sisters of mercy was about three ladies who picked him up hitchhiking in a snow storm and let them stay in their hotel room, according to an interview.
    neptune235on December 17, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about all the excesses in life, sin if you will. All good things must come to an end--"The Boss don't like these dizzy heights, we're busted in the blinding lights of closing time". The "Boss" (God/ our conscience/ our mortality) always seems to surface when we are enjoying overabundance. Reality and responsibility eventually set in, a similar feeling to when the lights go on in a bar after closing time; you realize the fun's over and it's time to go home. Or like a deer caught in the headlights--frozen for a moment not knowing what to do next.
    At the beginning of the song he reflects on how life was all about drinking, dancing, sex and superficial beauty--and how much fun it was. Later in the song he's older and has been either unwilling or unable to change the direction his life was going, except now he knows "the awful truth" which is that despite all the fun to be had, he has lived a somewhat lonely and empty life.
    nursejenon February 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationOfcourse we all use personal experiences to interpret everything. My personal interpretation goes this way...

    One night he's at a party with this friend of his who is dancing and rubbing up against half the guys in the bar. After the party ends and the bar closes, he takes her home to make sure she's safe, but they are both lonely and at the top of the steps or possibly on her roof or balcony they end up sharing a passionate kiss, have sex and enter into a relationship.
    This is a relationship where it all started because of her beauty and her body (i.e lust), but there was love also. But they realized that the relationship was headed no where and called it off, but he still loves her as a friend. And because he still loves her as a friend he's sorry that the relationship never worked out.
    And I loved you when our love was blessed
    And I love you now there's nothing left
    But sorrow and a sense of overtime
    And I missed you since the place got wrecked
    And I just don't care what happens next
    Looks like freedom but it feels like death
    It's something in between, I guess

    The breakup was freedom from a bad relationship and each other but the pain of it still makes it feel like death.

    Now years later, they bump into each other at a bar and she's old but she still dresses to attract men like she did when she was young. They laugh and drink and they dance a little but there is an awkwardness and something is missing, which is why the place seems dead. He realizes the awful truth which was that they threw away a friendship for sex and in the long run the sex wasn't really worth as much as he had valued her friendship.

    And the whole damn place goes crazy twice
    And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
    But the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
    We're busted in the blinding lights,

    When they realize what they gave up, their mind goes crazy with the realization the first time. The second time is when the fleeting thought comes in that they still care about/love each other and maybe it can work.
    But life (i.e. the boss) has taken them down different paths and when reality takes hold and their dreams of being together again are busted.
    ybnormal78on February 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentClosing time as in It's The End Of The World As We Know It, it's about spending your last night alive with a major blow-out. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
    Forevergreenon August 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of my favorite cohen songs...the images are so vivid...i love it
    justkoreyon June 12, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont think its about the end of the world, rather the end of a relationship (which sometimes can feel like the world though). He is out drinking after breaking up and its getting closer to closing time, which is usually when the sorrows and a realisations kicks in.

    One of my all time favourite lines in a song is:
    "..the Johnny Walker wisdom running high"
    Strayliteon June 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about closing time at a bar, and the end of the world:

    The whole damn place goes crazy twice
    And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
    But the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
    We're busted in the blinding lights,
    Busted in the blinding lights
    Of Closing Time

    There is a reference to revelations, where everybody goes crazy for the anti-christ, then the second coming occurs and everybody goes crazy for Christ. At the same time its just about a bar. Cohen has a wonderful ability to capture the divine in the mundane...Sisters of mercy was about three ladies who picked him up hitchhiking in a snow storm and let them stay in their hotel room, according to an interview.
    neptune235on December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about closing time at a bar, and the end of the world:

    The whole damn place goes crazy twice
    And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
    But the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
    We're busted in the blinding lights,
    Busted in the blinding lights
    Of Closing Time

    There is a reference to revelations, where everybody goes crazy for the anti-christ, then the second coming occurs and everybody goes crazy for Christ. At the same time its just about a bar. Cohen has a wonderful ability to capture the divine in the mundane...Sisters of mercy was about three ladies who picked him up hitchhiking in a snow storm and let them stay in their hotel room, according to an interview.
    neptune235on December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about closing time at a bar, and the end of the world:

    The whole damn place goes crazy twice
    And it's once for the devil and once for Christ
    But the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
    We're busted in the blinding lights,
    Busted in the blinding lights
    Of Closing Time

    There is a reference to revelations, where everybody goes crazy for the anti-christ, then the second coming occurs and everybody goes crazy for Christ. At the same time its just about a bar. Cohen has a wonderful ability to capture the divine in the mundane...Sisters of mercy was about three ladies who picked him up hitchhiking in a snow storm and let them stay in their hotel room, according to an interview.
    neptune235on December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about the ills of sexual and drug-induced debauchery, and how true love is not akin to lust.

    Basically he meets a woman at an orgy, they fall in love (or perhaps lust?). "And I loved you for your body. There's a voice that sounds like God to me
    declaring that your body's really you." *sounds* like God, but perhaps it isn't. They get married "I loved you when our love was blessed".

    Eventually the relationship ends, because it was based on lust, not love. Broken by the "weeds of sex".

    Then another scene, he is with a different companion, they are old and happy. The "awful truth" would be that lust doesn't necessarily equal tru love, but the youth will not listen.
    And now, he/they are going "crazy" the 2nd time around, but this time because they found god.

    Anyway, that's how I interpret it (not that I necessarily agree with it).
    splitter2on February 04, 2005   Link

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