The End of the World (Skeeter Davis song)
|"The End of the World"|
|Single by Skeeter Davis|
|from the album Skeeter Davis Sings The End of the World|
|B-side||"Somebody Loves You", "Blueberry Hill"|
|Recorded||June 8, 1962|
|Studio||RCA Victor Studios|
|Skeeter Davis singles chronology|
"The End of the World" is a pop song written by composer Arthur Kent and lyricist Sylvia Dee, who often worked as a team. They wrote the song for American singer Skeeter Davis, and her recording of it was highly successful in the early 1960s, reaching the top five on four different charts, including No. 2 on the main Billboard Hot 100. It spawned many cover versions.
"The End of the World" is a sad song about the aftermath of a romantic breakup. Dee, the lyricist, said she drew on her sorrow from her father's death to set the mood for the song.
Davis recorded her version with sound engineer Bill Porter on June 8, 1962, at the RCA Studios in Nashville, produced by Chet Atkins, and featuring Floyd Cramer. 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 Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart, No. 1 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart, and No. 4 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart. It is the first, and, to date, only time that a song cracked the Top 10 (and Top 5) on all four Billboard charts. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 2 song of 1963.
In the Davis version, after she sings the whole song through in the key of B-flat-major, the song modulates up by a half step to the key of B, where Davis speaks the first two lines of the final stanza, before singing the rest of the stanza, ending the song.
"The End of the World" was played at Atkins's funeral in an instrumental by Marty Stuart. The song was also played at Davis's own funeral at the Ryman Auditorium. Her version has been featured in several films, TV shows, and video games (see "Appearances in media" below).
|Australian Kent Music Report||32|
|UK Singles Chart||18|
|US Billboard Hot 100||2|
|US Billboard Hot Country Singles||2|
|US Billboard Hot R&B Singles||4|
|US Billboard Easy Listening||1|
|US Cash Box Top 100||2|
|US Cash Box Country Singles||2|
The Carpenters version
|"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|
|Label||A&M/King Records, Universal|
|The Carpenters singles chronology|
|"End of the World"|
|Single by Sonia|
|from the album Everybody Knows|
|B-side||"Can't Help the Way That I Feel"|
|Released||13 August 1990|
|Songwriter(s)||Arthur Kent, Sylvia Dee|
|Producer(s)||Stock, Aitken & Waterman|
|Sonia singles chronology|
In 1990, English 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, the same chart position as the original. 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.
|Australian Singles Chart||153|
|Irish Singles Chart||18|
|UK Singles Chart||18|
Pat Carroll recorded the song in 1965. Anna-Lena Löfgren recorded the song in Swedish, as "Allt är förbi", scoring a Svensktoppen hit for seven weeks between 9 October–19 November 1966. Another version became No. 2 hit in Sweden in September 1966 via a local cover by Mike Wallace & the Caretakers. A version by Allison Paige peaked at number 72 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in May 2000.
"The End of the World" has also been remade by a number of other artists including:
- Jessica Andersson on her 2009 album Wake Up
- Anika (as B-side to her single "Yang Yang" and on her album Anika
- Bell Gardens on their EP Hangups Need Company (2010).
- Susan Boyle for her debut album, I Dreamed a Dream
- Herman's Hermits in June 1965 as the B-Side to "I'm Henry The VIII, I Am" and on the group's eponymous UK debut album.
- Patti Smith for the closing credits of the horror film Mother!
- G.E.M. sang a rendition in Mandarin Chinese entitled "后会无期" (lit. never meeting again) for the 2014 Mainland Chinese film of the same name, The Continent (film).
- John Mellencamp on Trouble No More (2003)
- Sharon Van Etten in a promotional single tie-in for the TV series The Man in the High Castle
- Nina Gordon, Veruca Salt (band) vocalist and guitarist, on her 2000 solo album Tonight and the Rest of My Life.
Appearances in media
- The song is featured in the 1960's period drama film Girl, Interrupted (1999) 
- At the end of episode 12 ("The Grown-Ups") of the third season of Mad Men, first aired in 2009.
- As the opening and closing theme for the 2012 political thriller radio drama Pandemic, produced by BBC Radio 4.
- Played on the in-game radio in the 2015 video game Fallout 4.
- The version of Herman's Hermits is played during the closing scene of the third episode of The Queen’s Gambit.
- The version of Patti Smith's cover is played during the end credits of Mother! (2017).
- At the end of the 7 episode of the third season of "The Leftovers (TV series)"
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 10 – Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 180.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 147.
- ""The End of the World" – Skeeter Davis: 1963". The Pop History Dig.
- "SKEETER DAVIS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 73.
- "SONIA | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 2014-06-17". Imgur.com. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "Låt oss tro". Swedish Mediadatabase. 1966. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Svensktoppen" (in Swedish). Sveriges radio. 1966. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- Bronson, Fred (May 13, 2000). "Country Is Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "Wake Up" (in Swedish). Swedish Meidadatabase. 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- Martins, Chris (August 6, 2010). "Vinyl of the Week: From Stars of the Lid Emerges the Pretty Pop of Bell Gardens". LA Weekly. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- Perone, James E. (2009). Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion. ABC-CLIO. p. 158. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- Pearis, Bill (September 14, 2017). "Patti Smith played the 'Mother!' premiere @ Radio City, plays SummerStage tonight (win tix!)". BrooklynVegan. Townsquare Music. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Phares, Heather. "Girl, Interrupted OriginaL Soundtrack". AllMusic. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021.
- Levinson, Paul (November 2, 2009). "Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World". InfiniteRegress.tv. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama, Pandemic". Bbc.co.uk. October 11, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Mozuch, Mo. "Fallout 4 Soundtrack News: Audio Director Mark Lampert Confirms New Track [EXCLUSIVE]". Idigitaltimes.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- "The Queen's Gambit Soundtrack Is Gloriously '60s". refinery29.com. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- September 14, Bill PearisPublished; 2017. "Patti Smith played the 'Mother!' premiere @ Radio City, plays SummerStage tonight (win tix!)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved December 3, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)