May 21 Countdown: Your R.E.M.-Free Doomsday Playlist—You're Welcome

Katy Perry! Britney Spears! Abba! It's the end of the May 21 judgment day playlist as you know it

By Joal Ryan May 19, 2011 1:41 PMTags
Katy PerryAP Photo/Matt Sayles

The end of the world isn't here yet, and we're already over "It's the End of the World (As We Know It)."

So, here's an alternative playlist for the apocalypse—no R.E.M., no death metal, no covers of Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Just 13 songs to help make May 21 the most refreshing doomsday ever:

1. "Closing Time," Semisonic: The tone-setter. Subtle, with a twist—it's a song about an ending, that's really about a beginning. (Plus, it goes great with a blowout bash at a bar.)

2. "So What," Pink: As long as you have attitude, you have something. Remember that on Saturday should gravity turn off, and your couch fly out the window.  

3. "Firework," Katy Perry: Sparkle-shooting bras? Gotta be a sign of the apocalypse.

4. "The Big Bang," Rock Mafia: Finally, an explosion you can groove to!

5. "Don't Stop Believin'," Glee cast: Judgment day?! What judgment day? A little plucky optimism and/or denial never hurt.

6. "More," Usher: What that last one said!

7. "I Wanna Go," Britney Spears: "Till the World Ends," with its James Bond title, and Mayan calendar-referencing music video, is the obvious Spears songs to put in this collection, but this is the better song for letting it all hang out, euphemistically or not.

8. "Dancing Queen," Abba: The earth is quaking. The sky is falling. The masses are bumming out their ear buds with "Don't Fear the Reaper." But you? You're "having the time of your life" (without having to resort to that Dirty Dancing song, either).

9. "Goodbye Stranger," Supertramp: On the off-chance, the end really is nigh, farewells are in order for Mary, Jane and the rest.

10. "I Will Follow You Into the Dark," Death Cab for Cutie: Emo has been waiting, just waiting, for a really big bummer to happen. Score!

11. "Sandman's Coming," Randy Newman: Keep the lights on when listening. (Scottish singer Barbara Dickson's version is above, but, don't worry, it's just as wrenching.)

12. "The End," The Beatles: And in the end, there's 20 seconds of silence. And then after that? There's still one more song!

13. "All Will Be Well," Gabe Dixon Band: In the long history of end-of-the-world predictions, folks, no one's yet been rightFamily Radio's Harold Camping, included.