Songs for an Apocalypse

(If the world does not end tomorrow at 6 p.m., then we can resume the usual alphabet game next Friday.)

Hold on world ’cause you don’t know what’s coming …

I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” Larry Norman
Eve of Destruction,” The Dickies
Until the End of the World,” U2

1999,” Prince
The Man Comes Around,” Johnny Cash
Earth Died Screaming,” Tom Waits
The Apocalypse Song,” St. Vincent
We Will All Go Together When We Go,” Tom Lehrer
I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive,” Hank Williams
We’re All Gonna Die Someday,” Kasey Chambers
I’ll Fly Away,” Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch
Nothing But Flowers,” Talking Heads
It Is Well With My Soul,” Mahalia Jackson
Soon,” Daniel Amos
Around the Sun,” REM
The Revolution Starts Now,” Steve Earle

My own eschatology is much closer to the last song than it is to the first. But anyway, what apocalyptic music am I missing?

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  • nanananana

    Has anyone mention “shrinking universe” by Muse? Or Muse in general seeing as how they really like apocolyptic songs.

    Also “Kick the Bucket” by Charlie Winston.Nothing to do with the end of the world,but just a really catchy fun song about people dying :) 

  • The website is down, but “A Brief History of the Apocalypse” is a must-read. Fortunately, you can still read it at the Web Archive here:

  • ako

    Well, the predicted Rapture failed to show up.  Again.   (At least I’m assuming it did.  I haven’t been going around to check that no one’s missing, but the earthquake definitely didn’t turn up.)

  • I just hope everyone’s OK out there. 

  • Nightwish FTW!
    “Revelation-Death’s Angel” by Manowar
    “End of Every Story” by Xandria
    “Nemesis” by VNV Nation 

  • Amaryllis

    Or, since early reports indicate that the Rapture is a no-show, here’s an alternative local-interest set for the other event scheduled for 6 pm EDT:

    Black-Eyed Susie – Ricky Skaggs
    Bottle of Smoke – The Pogues
    Camptown Races – Johnny Cash
    Fugue For Tinhorns – from Guys and Dolls
    Molly and Tenbrooks – The Stanley Brothers
    The Plains of Kildare – Planxty
    The Race Is On – George Jones
    Stewball – Leadbelly

    ETA, because I forgot – The William Tell Overture Finale

    and, of course, My Wife Knows Everything

  • agia

    I think the Rapture is supposed to happen 6 pm local.

  • agia

    Maybe not everyone listens to the newer Iron Maiden albums.


    “Fallen Angels”

    “Out of the Silent Planet”

    perhaps especially suited to the occasion:
    When the Wild Wind Blows

    also half of everything Dragonforce has ever done.

  • agia

    Maybe not everyone listens to the newer Iron Maiden albums.


    “Fallen Angels”

    “Out of the Silent Planet”

    perhaps especially suited to the occasion:
    When the Wild Wind Blows

    also half of everything Dragonforce has ever done.

  • X

     I’d do “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon and Garfunkle, and then follow up with “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. Mostly as an excuse to play ’em.

  • Bent Lindow

    Given the nature of the post and thread, I am surprised no-one has mentioned

    “I’m gonna DJ (at the end of the world)” -REM 

  • Anyone get Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam’s “Peace Train?”  The Yusef Islam version is just amazing.

  • Saffi

    First one I thought of was Steve Earl’s “The Revolution Starts Now,” and, thanks to Fred’s link, I’ve had it running through my head for a couple of hours now.  As earworms go, it’s not a bad one.  :-)

    But if I wanted to add one that (so far as I can tell) hasn’t been suggested yet, I’d go with AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells.

    (And since I don’t know how to do links in the new system, it’s here:

  • Anonymous

    Downpressor Man -Peter Tosh

  • ako

    It didn’t happen 6 pm local time for me.  In fact, it’s now 8 am the next morning, and it still hasn’t happened.

  • Rob Brown

    I dunno, maybe…

    “If I Die Tomorrow” –
    Mötley Crüe

    “Gone Away – The Offspring

    Of course, if you just want something with an end-of-the-world word in the title without having that theme, then:

    “Armageddon It” – Def Leppard

    And if the kind of rapture predicted by people like LaHaye and Camping were to actually come about and I had a chance to address the kind of God who’d do that, I’d probably say a lot of the same things Trent does here:

    “Terrible Lie” – NIN

  • Anonymous

    I’m loving how many great new to me songs I’m discovering because of thread like these, such as “Apocalypse Please” by Muse,

  • Anonymous

    Depending on the nature of the apocalypse, “re: your brains” could work:

  • Juice

    A day late! But the best apocalyptic song I’ve heard, one the combines activism with just the right kind of apolyptic imagery:

    The spoken word part is by a Colorado human rights activist, and recorded for the song specifically. Flobots in general might be interesting -they’re a progressive Christian hiphop band.


  • My two favourite post-apocalypse songs are “Tables and Chairs” by Andrew Bird and “Sons and Daughters” by the Decemberists.

  • Erikagillian

    Sound of the Sinners, the Clash, from Sandinista.

    Wow, live version from the Us festival in ’83.

    “As the floods of God

    Wash away sin city

    They say it was written

    In the page of the Lord

    But I was looking

    For that great jazz note

    That destroyed

    The walls of Jericho…”

  • EDB

    Haven’t seen anyone mention Hamilton Camp’s “Pride of Man” yet:

  • “He Will Set Your Fields On Fire”, Monroe Bros. on RCA Bluebird, 30’s sometime: dust bowl years. A cheerful little ragtime march with interesting harmony.

    … Eve of Destruction by who??? Jeesh.

  • Anonymous

    Just to be contrary, Mahler, Symphony #2 in C minor, The Resurrection.

    If you must have Youtube, key movement is here: