There's been a lot of talk lately about the end of the world, and I've seen a couple playlists for The Rapture. But, the songs that I've seen chosen have been predictable and boring. I mean, seriously... It's your last couple minutes on earth, and REM's "It's the End of the World" is the best song you can come up with? Aren't you being a little too literal? (Though I must admit that I'm a big fan of seeing Muse's "Apocalypse Now" getting respect.)
So, I thought about it a bit differently... If last Saturday really was the end of the world, what would be the soundtrack of the day? That is, what songs would capture the feelings and emotions of dealing with the end of the world. Which then led me to an even stranger idea... According to the Kubler-Ross Model, there are five stages of grieving: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. So, using that as the outline, I give you...
ACT I: Denial
So, this stage can be approached in two ways. The first is how we all handled May 21, 2011. We (rightfully so) denied that it was The Rapture. We went about our lives, playfully mocking those that believed somehing would happen.
Nothing To Worry About - Peter Bjorn And John
Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFarrin
Here Comes the Sun/The Inner Light - The Beatles
But in my thought experiment, the protagonist is denying that it is the end of the world because, "Mothafucka gonna save it!" This is Bruce Willis. This is Will Smith. This is Stallone and Buffy. This is the upbeat, hero's theme. This is the training montage. This is the call-to-action. This is the race against time. Giant meteor? Zombie uprising? Aliens? Crab people? Bam! WELCOME TO EARTH! Naaah!
Holding Out for a Hero - Bonnie Tyler
Four Minutes - Madonna Featuring Justin Timberlake
The Second Coming - Juelz Santana
Lucky- Radiohead (If you want your hero dark, tortured, hungover and jaded.)
ACT II: Anger
In this part of the movie, the protagonist just failed at stopping the apocalypse... and he's pissed. Why? His fat, comic relief sidekick? His shoddy equipment? His lack of preparation? His ego? The extra five minutes he took to drop a deuce? Whatever it is, he can't accept that he fucked up so badly. And he's taking it out on everyone. (I'm also interpreting this as a slow descent into madness.)
Alone Down There - Modest Mouse
How I Could Just Kill a Man - Rage Against the Machine
I'm Mad - The Dead Weather
Piggy - Nine Inch Nails
ACT III: Bargaining
The protagonist now realizes that time is running out. This one was a bit tough because there aren't many songs that deal with "bargaining." Or at least I don't know of enough. So, for my version of bargaining, the protagonist pleads and prays for another chance to save the world. This stage is about panicked, helpless desperation.
Please Pt. 2 - Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
In This World- Moby
Stay - Coal
ACT IV: Depression
The hero now realizes that his prayers and pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears. And he falls into a deep depression. He lays in bed as he ponders his life... His exploits. His triumphs and failures. His loves and losses. His regrets. He ponders humanity and its the vast destruction ahead.
John Nineteen: Forty One - Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack
Wise Up- Aime Mann
Exit Music (for a Film)- Radiohead
ACT V: Acceptance
I gotta set up the scene because this idea and this song are why I wrote the post. And had the world erupted into a blaze of glory, this was gonna be the song I listened to during the madness. The protagonist has finally come to terms with the fact that he is not going to save the world. And he's made peace with it. He sets up a lawn chair in his yard to await and witness the impending doom. And then it happens. He marvels at the beautiful destruction of his familiar town. He can feel the ground tremble and the rising heat, but he doesn't care. He just sits there. Unafraid. His eyes are wide with awe as he sees fire rain down from the sky. He empathizes with the panicked faces clutching their loved ones, but he knows that nothing can be done. A smile... a reflective smile comes across his lips as he accepts this inevitable end. And to drown out the screaming and cries for help, we hear...
Smile - Nat King Cole
(Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World " could also be kinda powerful but prolly too hilariously ironic)
Put that shit in a movie.