The End of the World (Skeeter Davis song)

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"The End of the World"
Skeeter davis the end of the world.jpg
Single by Skeeter Davis
from the album Skeeter Davis Sings The End of the World
B-side "Somebody Loves You", "Blueberry Hill"
Released 1962
Format 7" single
Recorded 1962
Genre Country
Length 2:33
Label RCA
Writer(s) Arthur Kent, Sylvia Dee
Producer(s) Chet Atkins
Skeeter Davis singles chronology
"The Little Music Box"
"The End of the World"
"I'm Saving My Love"

"The End of the World" is a country and pop music hit song recorded by Skeeter Davis that enjoyed international success in the 1960s.


"The End of the World" was written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee; the latter drew on her sorrow from her father's death.

Davis recorded her version on June 8, 1962, at the RCA Studios in Nashville, produced by Chet Atkins, and featuring Floyd Cramer.[1] Released by RCA Records in December 1962, "The End of the World" peaked in March 1963 at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby & the Romantics), No. 2 on the Billboard country singles,[2] No. 1 on Billboard's easy listening, and No. 4 on Billboard's rhythm and blues.[3] It is the first, and, to date, only time that a song cracked the Top 10 on all four Billboard charts.[4] Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song of 1963.

In the Skeeter Davis version, after she sings the whole song through in the key of B-flat, the song modulates up by a half step to the key of B, where Skeeter speaks the first two lines of the final stanza, before singing the rest of the stanza, ending the song.

Davis's recording of "The End of the World" was played at Atkins's funeral in an instrumental by Marty Stuart, and at Davis's own funeral at the Ryman Auditorium. Her version has been featured in several TV shows, video games and films including Girl, Interrupted, Riding in Cars with Boys, Daltry Calhoun, ''An American Affair'', The Boat That Rocked, Mad Men,[5] Under the Dome and Fallout 4 in addition to the TV spot for Wayward Pines season 2, and opening credits of the BYU TV series Granite Flats.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1963) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report 32
U.K. Singles Chart[6] 18
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles 4
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 1[7]

The Carpenters version[edit]

"The End of the World"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album Live in Japan
B-side "Sing" (live with the Kyoto Children's Choir)
Released March 5, 1975
Format Cassette
Recorded June 4–9, 1975
Genre Country
Length 2:04
Label A&M/King Records, Universal
Writer(s) Arthur Kent, Sylvia Dee
Producer(s) Richard Carpenter
The Carpenters singles chronology
"Only Yesterday"
"The End of the World"

In 1975, American pop music duo Carpenters released a cover of "The End of the World" as a promotional single from their live album Live in Japan. It was recorded at the Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan.

Sonia version[edit]

"End of the World"
Single by Sonia
from the album Everybody Knows
B-side "Can't Help the Way That I Feel"
Released August 1990
Format CD Single
7" Single
12" Single
Recorded 1990
Genre Pop
Length 3:36
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Arthur Kent, Sylvia Dee
Producer(s) Stock, Aitken & Waterman
Sonia singles chronology
"You've Got a Friend"
"End of the World"
"Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)"

In 1990, British singer Sonia covered "End of the World". The fifth and final single from her debut album, Everybody Knows, it reached number 18 in the UK,[8] the same chart position as the original.[6] The single's B-side "Can't Help the Way That I Feel" also appeared on Sonia's debut album. This was her final single with Stock Aitken Waterman.

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "End of the World"
  2. "Can't Help the Way That I Feel"
CD single and 12" vinyl single
  1. "End of the World"
  2. "Can't Help the Way That I Feel"
  3. "Counting Every Minute" (Tick Tock Remix)


Chart (1990) Peak
UK Singles Chart 18
Irish Singles Chart 18
Australian ARIA singles chart[9] 153

Other versions[edit]

A No. 2 hit in Sweden in September 1966 via a local cover by Mike Wallace & the Caretakers, "The End of the World" has also been remade by a number of other artists including Jessica Andersson, Anika (as B-side to her single "Yang Yang" and on her album Anika), Eddy Arnold, Best Coast, Debby Boone, Brilliant, Carola (in Finnish as "Maailmain"), Chantal Pary (in french "Le jour se lèvera), the Carpenters, Rivers Cuomo, Bobby Darin, Lana Del Rey, Barbara Dickson, Dion, Mary Duff, Allison Durbin, Judith Durham, Exposé, Agnetha Fältskog, Rosie Flores, Emi Fujita, Girls, Nina Gordon, Herman's Hermits (as the B-side of "I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am"), Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann (released on the b-side to Eurovision Song Contest winner song 1963; Dansevise), Satoko Ishimine, Joni James, Cyndi Lauper, Brenda Lee, Vic Dana, Lobo, Julie London, Claudine Longet, Loretta Lynn, Al Martino, Johnny Mathis, Anne Mattila (in Finnish as "Maailmain"), Imelda May, Maywood, John Cougar Mellencamp, Anita Meyer, the Mills Brothers, Ronnie Milsap, Dorothy Moore, Mud, Anne Murray, Leigh Nash, Nomeansno, Patti Page, Helen Shapiro, Anne Shelton, Vonda Shepard, Nancy Sinatra, Sonia, the Tokens, Twiggy, Twinkle, the Vanguards, Bobby Vinton, Jeff Walker, Dottie West, and Lena Zavaroni. In 2009 Susan Boyle remade "The End of the World" for her debut album, I Dreamed a Dream.

A cover version by Allison Paige peaked at number 72 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in May 2000.[10]

The Brazilian band Roupa Nova made a cover version in Portuguese, in 1997, named "O Sonho Acabou".

Danny Chan, a Hong Kong famous singer, covered the song in a Cantonese version called "冬戀".

A Mandarin version 《后会无期》 was covered by Hong Kong singer G.E.M. Tang. Subsequently there was another Mandarin version titled "星梦之光", lyrics written by an SNH48 member, Wu Yanwen, and performed by SNH48 themselves in 2015.

Cyndi Lauper covered the song in 2016, the cover is part of the album Detour.

Appearances in media[edit]

The song was used as the opening and closing theme for the political thriller radio drama Pandemic, produced by BBC Radio 4.[11] It was also used in the 1999 drama film Girl, Interrupted, as well as in the Stephen King/Steven Spielberg CBS TV series Under the Dome season one episode five, "Blue on Blue." An abbreviated version of the song is the theme music for the TV series Granite Flats. The song was used for the main title and credit sequences in the 2008 film An American Affair. The song appears on the in-game radio in the video game Fallout 4.[12] In episode 8 ("End of the World") of the 2015 TV series The Man in the High Castle, an American singer performs the song in Japanese. The song was also used in the second part of the 2015 Japanese dark fantasy action horror film Attack on Titan. The song appears in the episode of Lost, What Kate Did. The song appears in an episode of the TV series Wayward Pines, Season 2, Episode 9, "Walcott Prep".


  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 10 – Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 180. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 147. 
  4. ^ ""The End of the World" – Skeeter Davis: 1963". The Pop History Dig. 
  5. ^ Levinson, Paul (November 2, 2009). "Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World". Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  6. ^ a b "SKEETER DAVIS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 73. 
  8. ^ "SONIA | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  9. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry (submitted to, received 2014-06-17". Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  10. ^ Bronson, Fred (May 13, 2000). "Country Is Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama, Pandemic". 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  12. ^ Mozuch, Mo. "Fallout 4 Soundtrack News: Audio Director Mark Lampert Confirms New Track [EXCLUSIVE]". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Rhythm of the Rain" by The Cascades
"Billboard" Middle-Road number-one single by
Skeeter Davis

March 16, 1963
(four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Andy Williams