Anthony Fantano once said something to the effect of Father John Misty’s song; ‘Pure Comedy’ would be the perfect song to play as the world ends. I love this suggestion for two reasons, Pure Comedy is a fantastic and criminally underrated song and is applicable to a world ending scenario, and it’s an incredibly fascinating question. What song would be most appropriate to play as the world comes to its conclusion?
Anthony Fantano is in fact the internet’s busiest music nerd, and his suggestion of Father John Misty (or John Tillman) to play us all collectively out isn’t a half terrible suggestion. While Pure Comedy is a reflective piece on all human life criticising human nature and religion, I believe another one of his songs, ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ may be more appropriate for this highly specific circumstance. The messaging in these two songs are idealistically similar, both recognise the injustices in the world, but have happy endings, resulting in Tillman concluding that humans need meaningful connections to survive. But the reason I would prioritise Honeybear over Pure Comedy is that simply its grander, the instrumental would be more fitting to blast as the world burns.
The Weeb in me has an easy alternative, Komm Susser Tod. For those uninitiated this song literally plays as the world ends in the End of Evangelion, the concluding movie to the internationally popular Neon Genesis Evangelion. It fits perfectly, the lyrics and melody reflect a great depression in the world. The song is slow, capping off at nearly 7 minutes long, and it takes its time reflecting on everything going absolutely wrong for the mournful vocalist. Just give the song a listen and you can practically see the great missiles dropping. Alternatively, another grand epic that encapsulates the doom of the Earth would be the ubiquitous anthem and Queen’s magnum opus Bohemian Rhapsody. The chaotic nature of this song and its schizophrenic atmosphere represents the world fundamentally. Additionally, it’s a far more popular song than any other song I’ve chosen to highlight as a possibility and at least in these circumstances popularity may account for some worth. Bohemian Rhapsody might be a fitting final tune for humanity.
Finally, I would like to highlight a Pink Floyd song, but I couldn’t initially conclude on a single song. Eclipse/Brain Damage would be fitting, Comfortably Numb would ironically put a smile on my face, Welcome to the Machine could be sung from the universes perspective as we join it in oblivion, maybe Echoes or maybe Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Ultimately, the most fitting Pink Floyd outing for the duty of playing the world out would be the 17-minute epic, Dogs. The song is an allegory for global capitalism and would reflect the greed of our race as we breathe our final collective breath. It would be a nihilistic send-off for an ultimately meaningless species, who spent a majority of our time hunting money instead of happiness or some other commodity.