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10 Songs for the Mayan Apocalypse

Elvis Costello Bono Mary Timony
Mike Coppola / Ben Pruchnie / Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

No one knows what’s going down this Friday, 12/21/12, the much-hyped Mayan apocalypse. It’s the final day on that ancient civilization’s calendar, and thus, it’s been the focus of doomsday prophecies and end-of-the-world predictions since — well, at least since we all survived the Y2K scare. Regardless of what transpires, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, will bring its share of Mayan apocalypse parties, and every one needs a proper doomsday playlist. Hence, this list: 10 Songs for the Mayan Apocalypse. If we’ve all got to go, we might as well have a killer soundtrack.

 

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10

‘Until the End of the World’

U2

 

 
From ‘Achtung Baby’ (1991)
Hard to tell if this one is about an actual doomsday prophecy or just the feeling that the world is over due to a doomed relationship. Either one can certainly suck.

 

9

‘Live at the Apocalypse Cabaret’

The Blood Brothers

 

 
From ‘Crimes’ (2004)
Where are you going to be when all this s— goes down? The Blood Brothers are going to be dancing their asses off, judging from this jam, the next entry on our Songs for the Mayan Apocalypse list. Really, it’s not a bad way to go out, now is it?

 

8

‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’

Morrissey

 

 
From ‘Viva Hate’ (1988)
Who could forget when Morrissey — off on his own for the first time after the end of the Smiths — basically called out for the world to end, singing, “Come, Armageddon / Come, Armageddon / Come.” It’s his fault, isn’t it?

 

7

‘Mayan Nights’

Man Man

 

 
From ‘Life Fantastic’ (2011)
Not on the original release of ’Life Fantastic,’ ‘Mayan Nights’ is a bonus track that offers a rare glimpse at things from the perspective of the Mayans themselves.

 

6

‘Armigideon Time’

The Clash

 

 
From ‘London Calling’ Single (1979)
Originally written and recorded by Jamaican reggae and dub musician Willi Williams, the B-side of the Clash’s ‘London Calling’ single reminds you that you’re pretty much on your own at the end: “No one will guide you through Armagideon time.”

 

5

‘Doomsday’

Mephiskapheles

 

 
‘God Bless Satan’ (1994)
We can think of few songs that go better with the end of the Earth than this brassy number, arguably the peppiest tune on our Songs for the Mayan Apocalypse playlist. What can we say? We’re real suckers for satanic ska.

 

4

‘Flower of the Apocalypse’

Helium

 

 
From ‘The Dirt of Luck’ (1995)
Even the end of the world should have at least one blossom of hope, right? Leave it to ex-Helium, current Wild Flag singer Mary Timony to be the one to sing about it.

 

3

‘Apocalypse Dreams’

Tame Impala

 

 
From ‘Lonerism’ (2012)
Hands down one of the best tunes of the year is also an easy pick for any doomsday list. If there’s a better way to go out than with your mind blown by Aussie psych rock, we don’t want to know about it.

 

2

‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’

R.E.M.

 

 
From ‘Document’ (1987)
You probably thought we’d put this at No. 1 on our list of Songs for the Mayan Apocalypse, but that would be a little too obvious, wouldn’t it? So we stuck it in the second spot, because really, it should at least be close to the top. Ignoring this song would almost be like not playing Prince at a Y2K party — simply unacceptable.

 

1

‘Waiting for the End of the World’

Elvis Costello

 

 
From ‘My Aim Is True’ (1977)
Are three “End of the World” songs too many for a list like this? Of course not! And regardless, we couldn’t leave this one off — just listen to the lyrics. The final track off Costello’s solo debut is as good as any for all your doomsday listening needs.

 

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