Apocalypse Here? An End of the World Playlist (Just in Case)

end is nearWhether or not The Mayans Were Right and the world engulfs itself, a phantom comet appears out of nowhere on Friday and takes us down in a blaze of glory or life goes on as usual, the songs, literature and art about the imminent apocalypse (whether today, tomorrow, or five billion years from now) have always been (and likely, will continue to be) a hot topic, theme and/or source of artistic inspiration. Here are a few end-of-the-world themed tunes and accompanying lyrics in recognition of the end of the 13th b’ak’tun of the Maya calendar as the hour draws near.

THE CLASH – LONDON CALLING

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

REM – I REMEMBER CALIFORNIA

I remember traffic jams
Motor boys and girls with tans
Nearly was and almost rans
I remember this
History is made
History is made to seem unfair

PINK FLOYD – TWO SUNS IN THE SUNSET

…suddenly it’s day again
the sun is in the east
even though the day is done
two suns in the sunset
hmmmmmmmmm
could be the human race is run

NICK DRAKE – PINK MOON

I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get you all

THE PLASMATICS – JUST LIKE ON TV

Burning Flames On The Ocean
Soldiers Marching On Los Angeles
Glaciers Cover The Desert
Micro-Organisms In The Breeze
Giant Ape-Like Invaders
Swim The River To New York
Massive Global Eruptions
Panic Spreading It Will Not Stop

ANDREW BIRD – YAWNY AT THE APOCALYPSE

INSTRUMENTAL

RADIOHEAD – IDIOTEQUE

We’re not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening
We’re not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening

LIVE – WHITE, DISCUSSION

and as the final sunset rolls behind the earth
and the clock is finally dead
I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me
and we’ll cry a lot
but this will be what we said
this will be what we said

Look where all this talking got us, baby.

MUSE – APOCALYPSE PLEASE

Declare this an emergency
Come on and spread a sense of urgency
And pull us through
And pull us through
And this is the end
This is the end of the world

VIC CHESNUTT – WARM

What is the message on those gamma rays
That are a’penetrating you
Do they say that the end
Is a’coming soon
Or do they say forget the sun
Worship the moon
But whatever it is our pinhole prespective
Cannot a’translate sufficiently
But any way, A or B
You know, it’s alright with me

THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN – 8 1/2 MINUTES

Oh, launched all the world’s nukes this morning
Hoping it would kick-start something
Some of them went off course and hit the moon instead
It was kinda pretty.
Hasn’t been a whole lot of looting
On the other hand, oh, it’s fucking freezing
Someone on TV said something about going underground…
Guess we better start digging.

THE FLAMING LIPS – FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE

But life without death is just impossible
Oh to realize something is ending within us

JIMI HENDRIX – ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER (Dylan)

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

^Open to interpretation, as most all Dylan songs are.

THE BAND – BLAZE OF GLORY

Let’s go out (let’s go out)
In a blaze of glory
All good things must end
Like three heros in a story
Lets go out like we came in
In a blaze of glory

THE DOORS – THE END

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end

TALKING HEADS – (NOTHING BUT) FLOWERS

There was a shopping mall
Now it’s all covered with flowers

DEAD CONFEDERATE – THE RAT

Not exactly an apocalyptic song per se, just feels like it should be playing when the day of reckoning arrives.

MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOOD – END OF THE WORLD PARTY

[INSTRUMENTAL]

…Because this list would be incomplete without it:

REM – IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (AND I FEEL FINE)

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs.

Talking Heads - Nothing But Flowers
Talking Heads – Nothing But Flowers