Music For The End Of The World ... Just In Case

If you know the end of the world is imminent, what music do you give one last listen? i i

If you know the end of the world is imminent, what music do you give one last listen?

Igor Zhuravlov/iStock hide caption

itoggle caption Igor Zhuravlov/iStock
If you know the end of the world is imminent, what music do you give one last listen?

If you know the end of the world is imminent, what music do you give one last listen?

Igor Zhuravlov/iStock

I'm just now catching up to the fact that the world should have ended on Oct. 21 — at least according to radio evangelist Harold Camping, who made the same claim earlier this year for May 21st.

Well, it's 10 days later and we're still here. Whew.

However, one shouldn't forget about the Mayan "Long Count" calendar, which marks the end of a 5,126-year era, predicting the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012. Something to look forward to, I guess, knowing you can kiss your debts goodbye.

Still, it made me think — especially because it's Halloween, when morbid thoughts are tolerated — what if you really did know that the world would end soon? What music would you choose as your swan song? What what would be on your "mass destruction" mixtape? Please tell us your picks in the comments section.

OK, it's almost impossible to resist R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," the infectious rocker that raises a middle finger to any apocalyptic notions.

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But seriously, I might like something a little mellower to calm the pre-cataclysmic nerves. Something like Bach's aria "Schlummert ein" from the Cantata No. 82, Ich habe genug (I've Had Enough). The opening line is: "Close now, weary eyelids, softly rest on weary eyes; world, with thee I would not stay ..."

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And for something a little more life-affirming, I just might enjoy a last listen to Janáček's Sinfonietta, a piece that's prickly, sweepingly romantic and poignant all at once. It's also surprisingly virile music for a composer who was in his 70s when he wrote it.

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What music would you cue up if the end of the world were at hand? Consider the question your musical trick or treat for the day.

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