Thursday, December 20, 2012

COMMENTARY: End of the World Playlist

I grew up with a Southern Baptist Mom in the Sixties. Between the church folks talking about the end of days and the socially conscious alarm about the Bomb,  I heard more about the End Days than I care to discuss, but tomorrow we face a prediction by the Mayans which says the world will end. Friends placed a challenge for an end of the world playlist and here's mine--posted a bit early so you can enjoy the music if you choose.

I can't think of a better way to end this world than sending it out with music.  It's man's best invention--and indeed divinely inspired. 

I'm dedicating this playlist to my husband, partner and one of my best friends for over thirty years.  He's believed in me, nurtured me, and just plain put up with me all this time.  So yes, that last night we need to have some champagne and watch the bright blue marble go out together:

The Last Night of the World -- Bruce Cockburn

My second dedication is to the Mayans for staring all this stramash lo so many years ago:

People of the Sun -- Rage Against the Machine

Perhaps many of us are contemplating our lives --whether we believe in the Mayans or not.  Harry Chapin did many years ago when he drove close to a tornado that nearly destroyed a Texas town. His music is a gift--and I give this to you freely:

The Story of a Life -- Harry Chapin

If the Mayan Calendar is correct, we are at the Eve of Destruction.  This is actually the first non-church song I heard about the end:

Eve of Destruction -- Barry McGuire

And, this song goes out to Mom and all the folks reading Revelations with hope in their hearts:

Waiting for the End of the World -- Elvis Costello

How about just one more? I was never crazy about the hymns in Mom's church, but I could go hear Gospel any old time. And this sister has a voice that sounds like hellfire coming down:

Judgement -- Sister Mary Nelson

Let's get started.  In honor of all the bomb drills I had to do as a kid.  Being stuck under a desk getting someone else's gum from the bottom of the desk in your hair definitely warps your sense of humor. 
Kiss your Ass Goodbye -- Alison Steel

The question starts with what ends the world?  Unlike the folks in the Sixties, my feeling has always been that we end the world by destroying the species.  The wholesale slaughter of the buffalo is one key example:

The Last Buffalo -- James McMurtry

Some folks felt like the world ended on this day--when the music died:

American Pie -- Don McLean

This merry little tune was written before I was born:

Merry Minuet -- Chad Mitchell Trio

Continuing the theme of societal comment, The Temptations did this song back in the Sixties, but I chose the Neville Brothers' song for ONE LINE.  Can you find it?

Ball of Confusion -- The Neville Brothers

Love this group and what a start:

Great Waves -- Dirty Three

And no list would be complete without CCR:

Bad Moon Rising -- CCR

There are some artists who are essential to any playlist.  One of the top ten is Queen:

Another One Bites the Dust -- Queen

And Debbie Harry:

End of the Run -- Deborah Harry 

For some perverse reason, known only to me, I think the end of the world is going to be some cosmic mistake:

99 Red Balloons -- Nena

Angels are coming...

Angels at my Gate -- Mannfred Mann

And, of course, the Grim Reaper.  This is the song that scared the snot out of me when I first heard it as a kid.  Love it:

Don't Fear the Reaper -- Procal Harum
I try to not playlist covers, but I like The Goofy Newfies, aka Great Big Sea.  If the world continues tomorrow, all you Celtic music fans will thank me, too:

It's the End of the World -- Great Big Sea

Because the world cannot end without Becker and Fagen and I suspect that Commerce failing is part of the deal:  

Black Friday -- Steely Dan

This song's dedicated to my sister-friend, Belinda Christ, for introducing me to Muse:

Apocalypse, Plase -- Muse

This is a song that I have always thought represented loss and endings.

Fire and Rain -- James Taylor

How about just a bit of humor?  From the author of songs like "Be Prepared," I give you a small chuckle. You may need it by now:

So Long, Mom -- Tom Lehrer

Possibly one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, it first came out for Hurricane Katrina. It's become an anthem for the grieving:

Requiem -- Eliza Gilkyson

I could think of no finer coda than this:

Hallelujah -- Leonard Cohen

My blessings go out to you, my friends, readers, and thirty-two followers. If the world does not end tomorrow, perhaps we should dedicate the day to good deeds and perhaps make it a better place to be.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, December 2012

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