22 May 2011


Arising from the recent hullabaloo over Harold Camping's much-publicized prediction that yesterday would see the rapture, the Twitter-verse has begun trending #myraptureplaylist.  Me being a playlist-making fool, I couldn't resist compiling my own rapture playlist.  Originally I had songs from several genres, but when I saw how few weren't country songs I decided the playlist was stronger by making it all country.  As I am wont to do with playlists, I limited selections to one song per artist (except Brooks & Dunn; I picked one song with each of the duo on lead vocals).  Some of these are obviously just selected because of their titles, but some actually are very on-topic.

"Goin' Away Party" by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price
I thought this was the perfect opening to a playlist of songs for the rapture.  Fun, somewhat sardonic and who wouldn't be comforted by hearing Willie's voice during the End of Times?

"The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash
Um, it's a song about the End Times, inspired by a dream Cash had.  The Man in Black mined Scripture for his lyrics.  My spine tingles to hear this song now as much as it did when I first bought the album in 2002.

There were several Waylon songs I considered, but this seemed the most appropriate.  Plus, it's a lively song.

"The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis
This one got in on the basis of its title alone.  Rather an obvious choice, really.

"Gone (That'll Be Me)" by Dwight Yoakam
Another one that got in on its title alone.  I suppose in the context of the rapture this is an awfully arrogant thing to say, as it assumes you're on God's list of people to be spared the End of Times.

I was afraid to have a song this serious on a playlist obviously meant in jest, but then I figured if I could have Cash's "The Man Comes Around," there was room for this.  Kix Brooks's finest recording.

"How Long Gone" by Brooks & Dunn
This one was a gimme.  "How long gone are you gonna be?"  I love the song anyway, and in the context of the rapture it's just funny.

"Long Time Gone" by Dixie Chicks
I like this as an answer to "How Long Gone."  Content-wise, this one is a stretch.  It's really more about a young woman leaving her small town to chase her dreams, then coming back home.  The title was appropriate, though, and it's a genuinely great song.  Plus, "Not Ready to Make Nice" just seemed mean-spirited in the context of this playlist.

"Gone" by Montgomery Gentry
"Gone like a freight train/gone like yesterday/gone like a soldier in the Civil War, bang! bang!"  Great chorus, and a fun part of this playlist.  Originally I had picked MG's "While the World Goes Down the Drain," but decided I liked singing along more with this one.

"I'm a Long Gone Daddy" by Hank Williams III
Hank III covers his grandfather.  Great recording, and perfectly appropriate to this playlist.

"Gone as a Girl Can Get" by George Strait
"She's out of here/she disappeared without a trace/more or less unimpressed/by the tears on my face."  It's as though this song was written just to be added to a rapture playlist.

It probably seems obvious to represent the Possum with "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which is why I went instead with "The King Is Gone."  It's a silly song, but one I felt better fit the overall tone of this playlist.

"A Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams, Jr.
This one was so obvious I couldn't omit it.  Of course, there are bound to be country boys wondering if I'm suggesting God won't want to take them during the rapture.

Not rapture-specific at all, but I love the song and I thought it took on a whole new dimension once considered in the context of the rapture.  Will those left behind "go out a-walkin' after midnight/searching for you?"

"I'll Fly Away" by Randy Travis
Not much question about why this song made the list.  I picked Randy Travis's version simply because I love to hear him sing.

"Farewell Party" by Alan Jackson
A cover of a Gene Watson song, this has to be the darkest, most morose song in my library.  It's probably too dark for me to even use in a humorous context like this playlist, really, but here it is anyway.

I have always loved this song.  It's about a guy making peace with the finality of a relationship, declaring that the love had been so special it was even worth the pain.  I think that's a very healthy attitude to have.  Too often, I think people consider anything that hasn't worked out as a colossal failure.  I much prefer Milsap's take, that things can be special and rewarding even if they fall apart on us.

What better song to end the playlist?  Fun fact: this was the last single released by Williams before his death.