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Playlist of Ten of the Best Songs for the End of the World

Updated on June 20, 2014

Welcome the End of the World in Style

Although the supposed Mayan Apocalypse is the currently most well known end of the world, throughout the years there have been thousands of predictions foretelling the end of the world. The world doesn't have to end on December 21st 2012; there will always be a world ending to celebrate. Which means there will always be a reason to throw a party for it.

So, what songs should you have for an end of the world party? Naturally, those with an apocalyptic or end of the world theme will be good choices, but other songs referencing ending will also do well. Biblical overtones are also quite common. here are a selection of some of the best end of the world songs to add to your playlist.

"The End" The Doors

Released in 1967, this song was written by American rock band The Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison after his breakup with his then girlfriend Mary Werbelow. The song was used by the group to close their last set. The End was used in the film Apocalypse Now, and the full album version of the track is almost twelve minutes long.

"Gimme Shelter" The Rolling Stones

Gimme Shelter is a song from legendary English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was Written by Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and released in 1969. It featured a female guest vocalist, Merry Clayton. The end of the world motif of the song was influenced by the Vietnam War, and the song is still used during times of tension.

"The Four Horsemen" Metallica

American heavy metal band released The Four Horsemen in 1983. The Four Horsemen of the title refer to the Biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the lyrics of the song reference this, although the names of the horsemen in the song differ from both the Biblical and the popular names they are known by.

"The Final Countdown" by Europe

Swedish rock band Europe released The Final Countdown in 1986. It was never originally planned to be released as a single, as it was to be an opening track for concerts. This was the band's most successful single and recognisable track, reaching number 1 in 25 countries. Except for this song, and the album of the same name it is from, outside Sweden most of the rest of the band's works are little known.

"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M.

Quite possibly the most obvious choice there can be for an end of the world song, this American rock band R.E.M.'s classic was released in 1987. Surprisingly, given how well known the song is, its chart performance was pretty poor at the time. Given its title and subject matter, it's been covered a number of times recently by artists looking to cash in on the upcoming apocalypse.

"The Man Comes Around" Johnny Cash

Written and sung by The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, who was most recognised as a country music icon, although his songs spanned many different genres. Released in 2002, it was one of the last songs written before Cash's death in 2003. The song is influenced by the Biblical Armageddon, with the pale rider referenced at the beginning being Death.

"Apocalypse, Please" Muse

English rock band Muse released a live version of this song in 2004 as a digital download with most of the profits going to the charity Oxfam. The song was written by the band's lead vocalist, pianist and guitarist Matthew Bellamy, and is said to be about religious fanatics wanting their predictions of an apocalypse to come true.

"The End of the World" The Cure

This song was released in 2004 by English rock band The Cure. Over the years, The Cure has undergone many changes to its' lineup, and only the songwriter, frontman, vocalist and guitarist Robert Smith has been a member since their beginning. Well known for less than cheerful tunes even at the best of times, what better band could be picked to celebrate the end of the world?

"My Apocalypse" Metallica

My Apocalypse is another song by the band Metallica which was released in 2008. Although not the lead single from the album it was on, Death Magnetic, the name of the album was derived from the lyrics in this song. A new introduction was added to the song after the band had been playing it live and felt it needed a bit more.

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      candy47 5 years ago

      Thanks for the name of the girl singer on Gimme Shelter. She can really belt it out!!