Soundtrack for the Apocalypse: A Playlist

by Seth Rogovoy


I’ve been working on a Spotify playlist I call “Soundtrack for the Apocalypse” over the last week or so. You can listen to it here. Please listen to it in shuffle mode.


As you will hear, the criteria are for both music and lyrics to somehow address an emergency, if not the actual end of days. Some of the songs do address the end of the world, as Elvis Costello’s “Waiting for the End of the World.” Others address other urgent situations, like war and revolution. For me, the Clash’s “London Calling” is the perfect fusion of musical form and function – a figurative clarion call that sounds like a literal clarion call.


The playlist includes a range of songs by artists including the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Public Enemy, Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, U2, and Warren Zevon.


I keep updating the playlist every day, so please check back for revisions. On my once-a-day walk outside, when I keep to myself and maintain a six-foot distance (at least) from other pedestrians, I like to listen to this through my headphones on the highest possible volume. Call me crazy, but I find it invigorating and, in some sense, reassuring. In a black humor kind of way.


If you have any suggestions for songs that would fit right in with those on the playlist, please let me know.


Happy listening.


Well, maybe not happy. But meaningful. Given the alternative.


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