If the Mayans are right about this Friday, you may need a soundtrack for the apocalypse. Check out the Top 10 songs about the end of the world.
1. "Eve Of Destruction", Barry McGuire - Perhaps the biggest hit ever inspired by the apocalypse, “Eve of Destruction” shot to No. 1 in 1965, and has barely left the oldies airwaves since. While the piece was written by P.F. Sloan, Barry McGuire had a folk-rock smash with it. Fired by the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the song piles up any number of convincing reasons to believe the world is going straight to hell.
2. “Before the Deluge,” Jackson Browne — On Browne’s 1974 album “Late for the Sky,” the prophetic star sang about a generation of former hippies, intending on heading back to nature, who end up being destroyed by decadence and cynicism.
3. “Waltzing Matilda” — While this sweet song — Australia’s unofficial national anthem — seems innocent enough, for film buffs it became associated with fiery doom after its inclusion in the 1959 post-nuke movie “On the Beach.” In the flick, the big bomb’s deadly fumes wind up killing off the last human Down Under. Which explains the morose playing of the song in the flick, and its lingering sense of doom.
4. “In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus),” Zager and Evans — Despite its wordy subtitle, “In the Year 2525” became a smash in 1969, based in key part on its sci-fi plot. In it, future man becomes reduced to a hollow robot, encouraging God to pull the plug on the whole species. The music, performed by the thankfully forgotten Zager and Evans, couldn’t have been cornier, nor their lyrics more kitschy. Guess that means people liked the message.
5. “Everyday Is Like Sunday,” Morrissey — While the world doesn’t necessarily end in this song, Morrissey certainly wishes it would. In his post-Smiths classic, the famously sullen singer prays for a nuclear bomb to come and immolate “this seaside town/they forgot to tear down.” It’s the ideal anthem for anytime you get that genocidal feeling.
6. “Epitaph,” King Crimson — Is there any more fearsome sounding band than King Crimson? In the late ’60s, they created some of the most morbid art-rock of all time, epitomized by this verse from lyricist Pete Sinfield: “The wall on which the prophets wrote/is cracking at the seams/upon the instruments of death/the sunlight brightly gleams/when every man is torn apart/with nightmares and with dreams/will no one lay the laurel wreath/when silence drowns the screams.” Are we having fun yet?
7. “Here Comes the Flood,” Peter Gabriel — In this biblical edict from the ex-Genesis singer, Gabriel blows his horn about the coming of a water world that takes us all. Glub, glub.
8. “Zero Sum,” Nine Inch Nails — No one excels at fetal-position rock better than NIN’s Trent Reznor. Dig his snarky verse on this one: “Shame on us/Doomed from the start/May God have mercy/On our dirty little hearts.”
9. “99 Luftballons,” Nena — The one-named German singer Nena took her song about universal nuclear destruction global in 1984. It became a smash across Europe, and — via its English translation and a video on MTV — a No. 2 hit in the U.S. The fact that Nena herself was a looker helped its meltdown message go down easy.
10. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” R.E.M. — World destruction never sounded giddier than in the words of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Like many end-of-days songs, this one isn’t really about extinction but rather reinvention — death as a chance for rebirth. Let’s just hope that’s what the Mayans had in mind when they made their doomy predictions.
(NY Daily News)