Pandemic Playlist: A virus may end the world, but you can spice up the Apocalypse with our Doomsday soundtrack
An October 2019 article on MEAWW began thus: "A highly lethal epidemic of a flu virus killing 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5% of the world’s economy might sound like science fiction..."
Reading it now, you might mutter "it's no science motherf****** fiction", and if you are that way inclined must be underwhelmed by the prospect of a virus-fuelled Armageddon.
Aren't we suppose go out with a Bang? Not kick the bucket with a whimper while being choked by a virus. Worry not, we are here to spice up your end-of-the-world experience, whenever and however lame, with some rocking apocalyptic numbers.
R.E.M. - It's the End of the World as we Know it (and I Feel Fine)
Isn't Michael Stipe America's sweetest truth teller. Coming from the South and flipping a bird to the religious took some balls. He showed plenty and had a worldwide hit. Not bad for a band that sang about a lot of weird shit. Here's their cheerful sounding end-of-the-world song. Mind you, it just SOUNDS cheerful, and has the dubious honor of being included on the 2001 Clear Channel memorandum of songs thought to be "lyrically questionable" after 9/11.
Bob Dylan - Subterannean Homesick Blues
In an early '90s interview with Guitar World, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck said one of the primary inspirations of "End of the World" was Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues".
Besides bonding over staccato delivery, the two songs inhabit the same universe where "you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows."
A monkish Allen Ginsberg and back to the camera Bob Nuewirth are riders of the last horse of the Apocalypse, waiting for Dylan to finish with his cue cards.
Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
No one does dread better than the Stones. Exhibit A and B: Midnight Rambler and Sympathy for the Devil. They put the fear of the devil and serial killers even in the most casual listeners of music.
"Well, it's a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense. The thing about Vietnam was that it wasn't like World War II, and it wasn't like Korea, and it wasn't like the Gulf War. It was a real nasty war, and people didn't like it. People objected, and people didn't want to fight it ... That's a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It's apocalypse," Mick Jagger told the Rolling Stone in 1995 about "Gimme Shelter".
Merry Clayton's voice gives you the appropriate chills and preps you well for any impending Armageddon.
Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime
If you wanna dance while the world is ending, David Byrne from Talking Heads is your man. Man's got plenty of right moves for the Apocalypse. Check out their Jonathan Demme directed live documentary 'Stop Making Sense'. If you want a crash course 'Once in a Lifetime' shall be enough.
All those Gen Zers calling the coronavirus pandemic the "Boomer Remover", should pay attention to the comment posted by Genevieve Mayer: "David Byrne is one of the best boomers."
May Pastor Byrne bless you, Genevieve!
Morrissey - Everyday is Like Sunday
Ex Smiths Morrissey has come to occupy a unique space in western pop culture, which has always been a left-of-center domain. His current politics, which many have called problematic, coupled with his musical legacy has led to headlines like this. If we are to just stick to the music, 'Everyday is Like Sunday' is the perfect song to play at the countdown to Armageddon, and you can sync the narrator to sing "come come nuclear Bomb" at the last moment, if it's a radioactive annihilation you prefer!
The song's lyric is reportedly inspired by Nevil Shute's novel 'On the Beach', about a group in Australia that awaits the arrival of deadly radiation spreading towards them from the Northern Hemisphere, following a nuclear war the previous year. Perfect!
Pandemic Playlist is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained instead of feeling drained while you're isolated at home. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!