Winter Is Coming and There Will Be Snacks: Songs for the Solstice Apocalypse

“I know we’re going to meet some day
in the crumbled financial institutions of this land
there will be tables and chairs
there’ll be pony rides and dancing bears
there’ll even be a band
cause listen, after the fall there will be no more countries
no currencies at all, we’re gonna live on our wits
we’re gonna throw away survival kits,
trade butterfly-knives for Adderall
and that’s not all
whoa-oh, there will be snacks there will
there will be snacks, there will be snacks . . .”

— Tables and Chairs by Andrew Bird


Seasonal Affective Disorderly greetings, my dears. Yes, the title— I know . . . how did I manage to pack in a nerdy fantasy reference, a musical reference, a scientific reference to an astronomical event, as well as encompassing pagan, biblical, and Mayan time keeping? ‘Tis the season, I suppose.

Now, let me tell you what I’m NOT going to do. I’m not going to recap the hysterical news reporting over the last weeks, or bore you with an exhaustive history on astronomy or pagan rights or the Mayan calendar — get thee to Google if you need all that. But let me mention, the Mayan people are disappointed in our stupidity, as are the experts.

I’m sorry, but I’m NOT going to subject you to the obvious standard, R.E.M. “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” You can listen to that as much as you need to on your own time (it’s been done, my dears, and I certainly did when I was 17) alas, it will NOT be appearing on my playlist.

Now let me tell you what I AM going to do . . . I am going to offer you some food for thought and some music to consider.

I am thinking — this End Of The World idea is not calling for credence in Apocalyptic rumors, or looking for a cataclysmic meteor to collide with the earth, or preparing for doomsday prophesies by stocking up on rations, or maxing out your credit card, or ending others and yourself. That merely reflects the tension and anxiety that pervades our culture.

But really, this is a celebration of the Mayan Calendar end, of the Solstice beginning, of a new universal consciousness and the benefit of such a world wide hoax is that we just might take the time to think about what it would really mean to have one day to live, one life to experience it with the people we love, and to conduct ourselves with grace, contemplation, and mindfulness, for just one day.

Maybe we could learn to engage in that exercise every day and not need fear in order to consider what it looks like to celebrate, to bring something important from ourselves into the world, to live right, and to be happy.

For your social listening enjoyment, please find a mindfully chosen Spotify selection of 39 songs below. (As it turns out, there is some wonderful/mathematical/biblical creeptastic significance behind the number 39 too!) Not to worry, it’s only slightly biblical (if you count Johnny Cash and a little Tom Waits), and mostly metal free (though you will find some angst, edge, and the f-bomb on the Dismemberment Plan track). It’s just that it’s wildly challenging to fold in Brazilian death metal a la Sepultura alongside English, gentle guitar-based Nick Drake. But fear not, it’s more calm of the winter solstice with a dash of Armageddon. Consider it the nutmeg and cayenne on top your hot cocoa marshmallows. Look to the heavens, look to your hearts, keep warm, hunker down with those you love, and . . . enjoy!

So, without further, unnecessary build-up—here’s your wintry doomsday flavored soundtrack in recognition of the change in the season, the change in the consciousness, the change in the Mayan calendar, and perhaps a peaceful goodbye ode to humanity, or at least, a goodbye to old habits that no longer serve and good ones to take their place.

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Songs for the Solstice Apocalypse

  1. The Apocalypse Song — St. Vincent
  2. Winter Now — Broadcast
  3. End Of The World Party — Medeski, Martin & Wood
  4. Until The End Of The World — U2
  5. Waiting For The End Of The World — Elvis Costello
  6. Winter — Maps & Atlases
  7. Winter Song — Caesars
  8. Winter Coat — Dark Dark Dark
  9. When That Helicopter Comes — Andrew Bird
  10. The Man Comes Around — Johnny Cash
  11. Four Winds — Bright Eyes
  12.  8 1/2 Minutes — Dismemberment Plan
  13. [Nothing But] Flowers — Talking Heads
  14. Tables and Chairs — Andrew Bird
  15. Safe Travels, (Don’t Die) — Lisa Hannigan
  16. A Hazy Shade Of Winter — Simon & Garfunkel
  17. Wintersong — Jesca Hoop
  18. Winter’s Skin — Y La Bamba
  19. The Earth Died Screaming — Tom Waits
  20. Sister Winter — Sufjan Stevens
  21. Winter Is Coming — Radical Face
  22. Present For The End Of The World — Good Old War
  23. Winter Pockets — Wild Child
  24. Winter Bones — Stars
  25. Winter Seeds — Freelance Whales
  26. Winter Fields — Bat For Lashes
  27. Winter Song — Sara Bareilles
  28. Saving Days in a Frozen Head — Kaki King
  29. Faded From The Winter —Iron And Wine
  30. Northern Sky —Nick Drake
  31. Frozen Warnings — Nico
  32. Salt Truck — Eleni Mandell
  33. White Winter Hymnal — Fleet Foxes
  34. Snow — Emiliana Torrini
  35. White as Diamonds — Alela Diane
  36. Dark Solstice — God Is An Astronaut
  37. End Times — Eels
  38.  I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire —The Ink Spots
  39. The End Of The World — Skeeter Davis

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