Sometimes life isn’t all that fun. And the music we listen to is a reflection of that When things turn a bit blue, the music we listen to follows suit. It ranges from sad songs to songs that outright talk about the world ending. The apocalypse is frightening to think about and is definitely not easy to write a song with.
But this won’t stop creative songwriters from writing banger songs with it. We’ve compiled some of the best songs about the end of the world that you can listen to as everything falls apart.
1. 2012 (It Ain’t the End) by Jay Sean ft. Nicki Minaj
A lot of iconic things happened in 2012. But what shook the world was the fact that the Mayan calendar ended in 2012. This made people believe that the Mayans predicted it would have been the world’s last year. And that’s why two years prior, Jay Sean released his hit song 2012 much to the delight of all end-of-the-world-songs loving fans.
Although the title was the year when the world would have ended, the song talks about how people should live their life to the fullest every day. “We’re gonna live like it’s the end of the world” Jay Sean has sung it. Instead of fearing for the time when everything ends, the song gave us another reason to party it up!
Expert Tip: The song received mixed critical reviews and peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Top 100. Jay Sean’s amazing vocals were accompanied by Nicki Minaj’s strong performance as a guest rapper.
Though it may not have charted higher, the song is definitely something you have put on replay at some point. That’s why it deserves a spot on every list of songs about the end of the world.
2. One Last Time by Ariana Grande
If you are making a list of songs about the end of the world, the last thing you would probably expect is a love song. But let me tell you, life is full of twists and turns that, even in the end we can half expect to throw a curveball. And that’s what happened when Ariana released her song “One Last Time” from her album “My Everything”.
The song talks about a perspective of a person that regretted leaving her life with her significant other and would give everything to be with him one last time. The lyrics are very much in contrast with its pop-sounding tune that is very reminiscent of EDM.
Though loaded with a much deeper meaning, it’s definitely a song that you can still mindlessly dance to in a club along with bright, flashing lights enough to make you blind.
3. As the World Caves in by Matt Maltese
This is a song that has actually gone unnoticed by most people. However, if you were in the thick of the TikTok boom during the pandemic, you might have stumbled across this song before. This is because it was covered by Sarah Cothran, an influencer famous for her songs and song covers.
Since then, it has gained much traction and attention as other influencers have recorded their song cover and spread it across all social media platforms. Because of that more people got to enjoy such a depressing yet warm take on the apocalypse.
The song is reminiscent of classic pop, crooning songs (think Frank Sinatra or Paul Anka) that gives a world war vibe. When you first listen to it, you would think that it was released sometime in the age of classic pop when it was released relatively recently.
Matt’s somber voice accompanied by the song’s gut-wrenching lyrics would definitely make you wish that you would die in the arms of the person you love should the end come. That’s why it gets a spot on this list of songs about the end of the world.
4. Minutes by Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake, Timbaland
It would be such disrespect if we don’t include a song from the Queen of Pop herself. That’s why we would like to dedicate this fourth slot on the list of songs about the end of the world to Madonna’s “4 Minutes”. What sets this apart from other Madonna songs is its superhero aesthetic.
As the title suggests Madonna and Justin had 4 minutes to save the world, and they used that to deliver this absolute banger that still holds up pretty well up to this day despite being released more than a decade ago. If you don’t believe me, go give it a whirl right now! It only takes 4 minutes to listen to it anyway.
5. Till the World Ends by Britney Spears
There are two types of people when the world starts going awry. Some people would scour the ends of the world, looking for a safe place to hide from and hopefully survive the inevitable end. And there would also be people partying and welcoming the apocalypse like it’s an old lost friend. If you are the latter, you would most likely bang your head to Britney’s tune “Till the World Ends.”
The song’s vibe contrasts the tone delivered by “As The World Caves in” which was previously mentioned on the list. It focuses more on its party aesthetics. This is also a prevalent theme in its music video. If you would rather dance your way to the bittersweet end, here’s a song for you.
6. Skyfall by Adele
Here’s another curveball for you. When you write a list of songs about the end of the world. James Bond probably isn’t the person on your mind. That’s why it would be perfectly forgivable if you missed this euphonious song from Adele.
Expert Tip: “Skyfall” is the soundtrack for a James Bond film of the same name and features a strong orchestra that you would expect from a spy film theme song.
Partnered with Adele’s rich and powerful vocals, this is definitely a goosebumps-inducing song that’s worth your listening time.
7. 99 Luftbaloons by Nena
What kind of list of songs about the end of the world would this be if we don’t pay homage to the classics? This entry would probably be the most unique of all the songs on this list. The song was in German when it was released, but that did not stop the rest of the world from enjoying its catchy tune.
This talks about – you guessed it – 99 balloons being released into the sky that caused a war to break out that destroyed just about everything. The world loved it so much that Nena re-released the song in English. This made the message of the song clearer to all its listeners.
8. 1999 by Prince (or the artist formerly known as Prince)
Here’s another song that made us think about our deepest darkest fears about nuclear war. Nuclear war was a valid fear during the cold war. People were scared that it could happen anytime, and Prince probably didn’t enjoy that thought so much. So instead of being upset Prince released one of his best songs.
The song was released towards the end of the cold war, which made it very relevant when it first came out. Its 80’s aesthetic and distractingly good synth-pop sound makes for an excellent anti-war headbanger song. Not only was it a fun song to sing and dance to, but it was also one of the first songs by a black artist to get regular screen time on MTV.
9. Five Years by David Bowie
“Five Years” has been regarded as one of the greatest songs David Bowie has ever written. It also served as an introduction to the album it was released in. It talked about the world being destroyed and the one being that could save it, an alien by the name of Ziggy Stardust.
It received critical acclaim from critics, and for good reason. If by a cruel twist of fate this has eluded you for some time, now’s the best time to get into it.
10. The Final Countdown by Europe
If you haven’t heard of this iconic song I would assume that you have been living under a rock. If you don’t recognize the title, then you can probably recognize it from its iconic synth keyboard intro.
It takes on the perspective of probably one of the last few people on Earth trying to hitch an intergalactic Uber ride to Venus. It has become a cult classic and has most likely been sung in every karaoke place in the world. It can also serve as a bombastic theme song for the Earth’s final days should the end really come.
Death can be pretty scary. But the end of all life as you know it? That’s a whole other level of fear. Thankfully, the world has nurtured very creative and talented artists who provided us with songs to meet the end a little more openly. So be sure to keep this list for when the world starts to burn down.