CNN founder, Ted Turner, once famously said when he launched his news channel :
"We won't be signing-off until the world ends....We'll be on to cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event....we'll play 'Nearer My God To Thee' before we sign off."
It was an open secret that CNN had a legendary "doomsday tape" ready to go "on confirmation of the end of the world". What that confirmation would be is anyone's guess, and whether you would spend your final moments gathered around the television watching CNN is another matter.
However, back in January, a former intern revealed that was exactly what CNN planned (above). The doomsday tape subsequently leaked and it was, indeed, a military band playing the aforementioned hymn.
That seems rather low key, and the intern themselves said :
"All we have is this bleak yet romantic farewell, showcasing both the best and the worst of humanity with all of its unsettled questions....This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with one melancholy little band, and a quick fade to black."
A bit of a let down : a more than fitting way to sum up, and see off, humanity.
The video was memorably parodied (above) in Gremlins 2 (1990), and the parody is better than what actually existed. But it all poses the question – "What song should ring in the end of all things?"
REM – It's The End Of The World As We Know It
Nah, too obvious.
Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)
A bit more ethereal. It's often used in space documentaries, and was first used in a 1989 documentary For All Mankind, which covered the Apollo missions. Then it was used in 28 Days Later and seems to appear quite often in charity adverts. It certainly gives you a feeling of waving goodbye to a planet. It also kind of reminds me of my first blow job....
The Clash – London Calling
Everything else in the UK is London-centric, so the Apocalypse or nuclear holocaust might as well be too.
Iron Maiden – Two Minutes To Midnight
Slayer – Skeletons of Society
A nice, feel-good rousing tune to give any survivors of what befalls Earth an idea of the challenges they would face before, they too, are consumed by eternal darkness.
Black Sabbath – Symptom of the Universe
Pretty much any Black Sabbath song would be suitable here. Might not have six and a half minutes though. "Oh my chiiiild of love's creati...." BOOOOOM!
Monty Python – The Universe Song
Everyone picks Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life when wanting to face a grim end with a stiff upper lip, but this one's perhaps overlooked.
"So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!"