Hit Songwriter Bios—Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson, lead singer and songwriter for the band Semisonic, rose to prominence as a hit songwriter with the band's radio-friendly pop song "Closing Time" from their 1998 Feeling Strangely Fine LP.

The Minneapolis-based trio consisting of Dan Wilson, John Munson and Jake Slichter evolved from the band Trip Shakespeare and were signed to Elektra Records in 1994 (after a short stint touring under the band name "Pleasure").

Pop-tinged with smart lyrics, Semisonic's sound relies heavily on the writing talents of Dan Wilson.

"I think I formulated my style by learning folk songs like Bob Dylan stuff from the 60s, also "Wild Thing" by The Troggs and then listening to Tom Verlaine play on the first Television record (Marquee Moon). That and listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell and wondering how she plays those weird chords..." —Dan Wilson

In February 2007, Dan was honored with a Grammy Award (Song of the Year) for his collaboration with the Dixie Chicks on the smash hit "Not Ready to Make Nice," which also won Record of the Year. He co-wrote six of the tracks on Taking The Long Way which featured "Nice."

About "Closing Time":
"I thought of the first verse of 'Closing Time' pretty much all at once while playing the guitar. The chorus too (it's only one line). I was trying to write a song for the end of our sets, to say, 'Goodnight, get out, we love you but we're done,' to the fans. But it turned into something else, the first verse about times I've been in a bar at the end of the night trying to get up the courage to talk to a woman. The next verse I tried a bunch of ideas and then a week or so later I thought of the idea of being 'bounced' from the womb and being born." —Dan Wilson

Closing Time Lyrics
(Words and Music by Dan Wilson)

Closing time
Open all the doors and let you out into the world
Closing time
Turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl
Closing time
One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer
Closing time
You don't have to go home but you can't stay here

I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home

Closing time
Time for you to go out to the places you will be from
Closing time
This room won't be open till your brothers or your sisters come
So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
Take me home

Semisonic - Closing Time - Sheet Music (Digital Download)

Dan Wilson was a featured writer at the 2006 Durango Songwriters Expo in Santa Barbara.




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