I’m waking up to ash and dust
New on the Apocalypse Girls radar is the teddy apocalypse! Yes, really! With cagefighting stuffed toys in a fun video from Imagine Dragons!
I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out of the prison bars
This is it, the apocalypse
Video aside, this is one of those great tunes that rocks an addictive beat with some cool melodies to get you into the zen zone when all about you is going a bit, well, apocalyptic.
Comedy, the most essential of tools in your survival kit. If you can’t keep your morale up, you’ll be lost, so keep this song from master musician and comedian, Bill Bailey, to hand. Especially if you find yourself to be a human slave in an insect nation.
And remember: the spiders are not insects, but in the war they will side with the insects.
– Apocalypse Womble out.
Not all songs suitable for the Apocalypse have to be depressing and downbeat. When the end comes I want to go out fighting – I want to cheer my sisters on and win the day. It’s impossible not to feel uplifted by this song. The slow, the swell of the melody, building throughout the song provides the perfect counter-point to the tired and plodding beat. This is a song for the downtrodden who are not beaten. This is a song for celebration in a hard world.
We are the champions, my friends. The champions of the world.
– Apocalypse Womble out.
OK, I don’t think this song is set to be an apocalypse classic, but you have to give her props for exploiting the 2012-Mayan-calendar-end-of-the-world theme. I’m surprised more pop-stars haven’t gone for it, to be honest.
The first half of this song is fairly standard mindless noise that doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with the apocalypse, but keep with it, around 2:35 it kicks off into something a bit different and more interesting:
See the sunlight, we ain’t stoppin’
Keep on dancing till the world ends
If you feel it, let it happen
Keep on dancing till the world ends
It’s still a pretty simple lyric, but the timbre shifts from the standard dance beat to a softer, more open sound as the melody rises to echo the rising of the sun in the lyric and I have to admit, I get a tingle. It is evocative of a survivor emerging from their hidey hole after some tumultuous disaster has swept over them, to see the still destruction in the dawn light. It’s not Mozart, but it earns it a place in our post-apocalypse playlist.
Credit is also due to director Ray Kay for creating a music video that is rather more spectacular than the song. This is a pretty stunning depiction of the apocalypse. I’m not quite sure what sort of apocalypse it is, but I’m also not quite sure that I care. It’s very pretty. Equally, the frenetic choreography of the dancers (who are maybe engaged in some kind of sex-death ritual, maybe zombies (probably sex-zombies, if there is such a thing), or just the world’s most committed ravers) evocatively capture what all songs of this type are getting at: i.e. whether you’re dancing like it’s 1999 or like it’s the end of the world the music is taking you to a frenzied beat that shakes passion off it like sweat. It’s the ‘quick! The four minute warning! Find someone to screw!’ impulse mixed with dancing like your life depends on it. Both themes are exciting and evocative of the sex-death link that has fascinated theorists like Freud.
It’s a simple idea with no real distracting depth, but it’s nicely realised. It’s a 2012 themed song – I felt it did have to make the list before the year was out.
As a girl equipped to survive the apocalypse, I’m not generally inclined to wait around for a man to save me – chances are I’ll still be sitting there when the zombies eat me. Or the man will have been manfully hiding a bite and will turn into a zombie and eat me. But it’s hard not to hear this song and feel cheered. I feel it has a place in a post apocalypse world.
Also? The women in Flash Gordon are awesome. Especially General Kala. I mean, if the Apocalypse is coming, why not be in charge of its armies?
And as villains go, this is some kind of formiddable woman:
What do you mean, ‘Flash Gordon approaching’?!
Open fire! ALL weapons.
No half-measures with this lady. I challenge anyone to deny that this is a woman who commands respect with her every gesture, look, and tone.
General Kala: Apocalypse Girl extraordinaire.
And let’s not forget Dale Arden. Not without fight in her, and even as she calls out: ‘Flash! Flash! I love you’ She adds as though to call him back to the matter at hand: ‘But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!’
Yeah, I think, come the apocalypse, this’ll be one I’m glad to have in my record collection.
It’s number 42. It was mandatory.
For those not in the know, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the book you will need if ever the Earth is destroyed to make way for a hyper-spatial bypass and you are stranded, hitchhiking around space with your best-friend who turns out to be an alien, his double-headed cousin who’s sort of the President of the Universe, and someone you fell in love with at a party in Islington and then never saw again until after the end of the world. Alternately, it is a series of books, or a film, or a radio series, or a TV show about that book and a person who has just such an adventure. Or a website that was trying to do a light-hearted version of Wikipedia before there were wikis. This is the theme tune for the TV Show, and I think you’ll agree that it’ll help you not to panic when the Earth explodes.
What if they were 13 men, eh? I love how often men approach the apocalypse as the site for wish-fulfillment. Women tend to imagine worst case scenarios: perhaps those two tendencies are related…
Dig that high hat! The Renegades rock.
The earlier version by Bill Haley & his Comets
A song called ‘It’s Not the End of the World’ might seem incongruous on an apocalypse themed blog, but this song is somewhat duplicitous. The singer calls out in the chorus:
It’s not the end of the world now, baby,
So, c’mon, dry those tears
It’s not the end of the world now darling,
But I can see it from here
|God Save the Queen (but if he can’t, dibs on that hat)|
|“I’m the bloody queen, mate.”|
As the second longest reigning monarch of these isles of Britannia (the longest reigning being the formidable Victoria), there’s a lot to admire in Liz II. In fact, the queens of Great Britain have a lot going for them altogether. Pope Sixtus V said of Liz I: “She is only a woman, only mistress of half an island, and yet she makes herself feared by Spain, by France, by the Empire, by all”, and the success of both Liz I and II’s reigns inspired the rather wonderful Liz X, in one of the most marvellous episodes of the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who, ‘The Beast Below’. Liz X saves her people from the death of the Earth by whisking them away on Staship UK.
And yet, although any girl with what it takes to survive an apocalypse has to admire these ladies, the apocalypse is rarely kind to royalty. James Herbert’s ’48 begins with the protagonist occupying Buckingham Palace – deserted after the end of the world. In I, Zombie, by Al Ewing, the palace becomes a pulsating incubator for horrifying insectoid aliens. And, even though the human race survives in her hands, The Beast Below is hardly uncritical of monarchic rule, as the police state she has created and allowed to continue appears dangerously restrictive, culturally stultified, and is founded on the enslavement and torture of a wondrous sentient being: a star whale.
As a nation the UK sustains ambivalent feelings towards the monarchy. We enjoy the spectacle (and the bank holidays) that they bring, and the queen remains a global icon, but we mutter darkly about our tax money being spent on them and wonder about the place of a monarch in a 21st Century democracy. As in our post-apocalypse fiction, royalty hold a tension between fascination and the desire to overthrow the ruling class. What better way, then, for a blog about the apocalypse to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, than with ‘God Save the Queen’, by The Sex Pistols?
It is rumoured that the song was written to coincide with the Silver Jubilee, although Paul Cook has denied this. It has been rereleased to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee. The anarchic lyrics equate monarchy with a ‘fascist regime’, describing a society with ‘no future’, where the population has become moronic from over-regulation, and where people are ‘Potential H-bomb[s]’ – fuelled by pent up anger and frustration, threatening to explode and either destroy us all or clear the way for some new anarchic future. In a genre that places the downfall of civilisation as we know it at the centre, apocalypse and political commentary go hand in hand of necessity, and what could better symbolise this than The Sex Pistol‘s vibrant and violent corruption of the national anthem?
God save the queen.
– Apocalypse Womble out.