I originally published this post in 2011 when apparently, it felt like the end of the world was nigh. Turns out I was 9 years early because the emergence of COVID-19, aka the coronavirus seems to not only have a greater impact, but it has a global one.
I came up with a fun little list that I called “Songs for the Apocalypse” and now, I’m revisiting that list. Music is therapy for so many people so I’ve updated it and hopefully you’ll find the right song for your mood. Just make sure you get to the end because there is hope.
Originally published 8/29/2011
You know what we need? A soundtrack for life.
I love movie soundtracks. I don’t always hear the music of a movie. I might hear a song or two but never really catch all that goes on in the movie to set the ambience. But if I buy the soundtrack and listen to it, I can watch the movie again and pick out every single piece of music. Even the incidental stuff.
And once I get the movie and the music settled properly into my head, I can listen to the soundtrack and play the whole movie back in my head.
Then there are songs that contribute to the soundtrack of our lives.
There are the obvious ones, like your wedding song. Or the song you listened to after a major heart break. Because you listened to it over and over and over and over again. Because that song was about you.
There are other songs, though. Songs that you didn’t realize you listened to so much during a very specific time in your life. You don’t really realize it until it comes on the radio and you are instantly taken back to a very specific and singular moment. Or maybe it was “the summer song” that you and your friends listened to nonstop.
I remember listening to “King of Pain” by The Police for most of the summer of 1983. I remember it because I rode shotgun in the little Datsun pick up truck of the mutual friend of my much older brother and much cooler sister. I remember because I had a big crush on that friend and it was a thrill to be riding in his truck even if it was as the little sister.
I remember listening to “6th Avenue Heartache” by The Wallflowers with the airplane headphones as I traveled back and forth to California for work. It was an exciting and heartbreaking time in my life and that song just captured that era for me.
When I listen to either of those songs, I’m instantly teleported back to those times and those feelings. It’s nostalgic and reminiscent and sometimes joyful and sometimes sad. But it reminds me of a very specific time in my life.
I think we need more music in our lives. Music to make us sing or think or remember or laugh.
In light of the East Coast earthquake last week (apparently Colorado is trying to claim they had one too) and the wrath of Hurricane Irene, I thought we could all use a little music to help us through the impending apocalypse.
In fact, if you listen to the end, you might actually think we have a chance of making it. If you are still waiting for the Mad Max post-apocalyptic world, you can probably stop at song #7.
I present you with my very first ever Spotify playlist.
Songs for the Apocalypse Playlist
1. World Gone Mad – Bastille
2. We Don’t Know – The Strumbellas
3. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Jason Mraz
4. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? – Travis
5. Have You Ever Seen the Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival
6. I Feel the Earth Move – Carole King
7. Eye of the Hurricane – The Alarm
8. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
9. It’s The End of the Word As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.
10. Life Goes On – The Kinks
11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
12. A New Day Has Come – Celine Dion
If you were to pick out more songs for the apocalypse, what would you add to this list?