10 Songs for the End of the World (Which Didn’t End. Obviously.)

[I was a little worried when the dog woke me up at exactly 12:11 UTC this morning.  Did she know something I didn’t know?  Turns out she just needed a pee, not to warn me that the Mayan Apocalypse had begun.  So I went back to sleep.  However, there will soon be more whackos predicting the end of time, so it’s good to be prepared with a playlist, right?  Brent Chittenden reports. – AC]

I know last week I said I’d return with the Best Christmas Rock songs but I forgot all about the world ending today. And since we’ve spent a lot of time (or is that time wasting?) together over the past few months, it’d be kind of heartless of me not to give you ten awesome songs for the Apocalypse. So here you are, Top Ten Songs for the End of The World. Good day and good luck.


10) Dave Mathews Band – When The World Ends (Oakenfold remix)

Originally found on the soundtrack to the craptacular The Matrix Reloaded, this remix of an already decent DMB tune has to have a solid spot on your Apocalypse playlist.


9) The Smashing Pumpkins – The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning”

Another song that just sounds like the end of everything to me… and not in a bad way per say as things have to end for things to begin… maybe Billy Corgan should remember that before another Pumpkins album.


8) Pop Will Eat Itself – Def Con One

How can you not love a song about the end of the world that mentions grabbing McDonalds before the bombs drop?


7) Nine Inch Nails – The Day The World Went Away

While not specifically about the end of the world (in fact the lyrics are at least in part about the death of Trent’s grandmother), it does have that sense of dread that goes well with the other tracks on this list.


6) The Doors – The End

Another song that had to be on the list but oddly enough, this started off as a song about a breakup.


5) Dimmur Borgir – Progenies of the Great Apocalypse

I’m not usually a big black metal guy but this track is awesome and very fitting for the end of the world.


4) Barry McGuire – Eve of Destruction

A classic in terms of musical ends of everything. This song was originally meant for The Byrds but they discarded it. Barry McGuire turned it into a little bit of a hit.


3) Nena – 99 Luftballons

As I’ve stated in a previous post, probably the most cheerful sounding song about nuclear annilation.


2) Johnny Cash – When The Man Comes Around

Even though it’s about the Rapture (the Biblical end times), at least Cash gives us a little hope. It also happens to be one of the last songs Cash wrote before his death. Maybe he knows something we don’t?


1) REM – It’s the End of the World As We Know It

I am not a fan of REM at all but this track has to be on this list. I think I might be lynched otherwise.


And a special last minute song, Weird Al gives us not only a song about the end of the world, but the end of the world at Christmas!

Now, on the off chance that we survive to next week, we’ll have the Top 12 Christmas Rock Songs just in time for the holidays. And if not, thanks for making this post one of the last things you looked at.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “10 Songs for the End of the World (Which Didn’t End. Obviously.)

  • December 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Where the hell is apocalypse please by Muse? hehe 🙂

  • December 22, 2012 at 3:38 am

    really, alan? no "til the end of the world" by U2?! for shame!


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