Skeeter Davis

The End of the World

Song Review by

"The End of the World" was, in a way, the end of an era. It was one of the last of the way-sentimental huge hit pop records that projected a peculiarly kind of late-'50s/early-'60s melodrama, one in which it seemed the world was coming to an end not just for the singer, but for the whole world. Skeeter Davis might be thought of by many as a country singer, but actually she did cross over into pop and pop-rock in much of her early-'60s output, and "The End of the World" was easily her biggest such success, reaching #2 in early 1963. There is, perhaps, some country music in the song's bathos. But there's also pop-rock in the rolling, almost doo wop piano, and the almost teen idol pining of Davis's vocal -- multi-tracked at various points, as usual. At points she even sounds a little bit like Lesley Gore in her youthful naivete. And there's cinematic drama in the unabashedly weepy strings, though a pinch of country is heard in faint weeping steel guitar. The drama reaches its most melodramatic when there's an upward key change for the last verse, the first half of which is given over to a plaintive vocal recitation. "The End of the World" is a song that many listeners like to deride for its on-the-verge-of-sobbing sorrow, as if being left by someone is tantamount to the village getting massacred. Yet the melody is appealing, Davis's vocal suitably yearning, and the arrangement does indeed evoke a sad, barren landscape, of the sort where the sun is setting on an overcast day that has seen especially bad news. The song has been frequently covered since, usually by middle-of-the-road female singers, the roster of artists who've recorded it including Paul Anka, the Carpenters, Rosie Flores, Herman's Hermits, Judge Dread, Julie London, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Mathis, Nancy Sinatra, Bobby Vinton, and Lawrence Welk. It was also used in the soundtrack to a suicide scene in the movie Girl, Interrupted.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The End of the World [1963] 1963 RCA
Let Me Get Close to You 1964 City Hall / Playback / Playback Records / RCA 2:36
The Best of Skeeter Davis 1965 RCA
No Image 1969 RCA Victor
No Image 1972 Michele
No Image 1978 Hollywood
All That Country [K-Tel] 1984
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:40
No Image 1985 RCA
No Image 1986
Original Soundtrack
Arcade Music
Greatest Hits 1962 1987
Various Artists
Deluxe 2:39
Country U.S.A.: 1962 1988
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
22 Leaders of the Pack, Vol. 1 1989
Various Artists
Laurie 2:38
No Image 1990
Various Artists
RCA
Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 60's, Vol. 1 [1990] 1990
Various Artists
RCA 2:33
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: The '60s - Rave On 1990
Various Artists
2:36
Eis Am Stiel, Vol. 5 1991
Original Soundtrack
Ariola
Honky Tonk Angels 1991
Various Artists
Starday Records 0:00
Country Time [K-Tel] 1992
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel Distribution 2:36
The Sensational 60's, Vol. 1 1993
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel Distribution 2:40
Super Hits, Vol. 5 [Hollywood] 1994
Various Artists
Hollywood / IMG
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Warner Music 0:00
The Best of Tragedy 1995
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 2:33
Country Classics [Drive Archive] 1995
Various Artists
Drive Archive
Super Box of Country 1995
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel Distribution 2:39
Grand Ladies of the Opry 1995
Various Artists
Deluxe 2:40
Unforgettable Hits 60s: He's a Rebel 1996
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group 2:35
The Essential Series Sampler [RCA Country] 1996
Various Artists
RCA / Sony Music Distribution 2:39
The First Ladies of Country [Ranwood] 1996
Various Artists
Ranwood Records 2:35
Country Classics [Intercontinental] 1996
Various Artists
ITC Masters / Intercontinental Records 2:40
Country Stars on C.D.: 62 Hits 1996
Various Artists
King 2:40
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Sterling Gold
The Essential Skeeter Davis 1996 RCA 2:37
All Time Country Greats [BMG/Camden] 1997
Various Artists
Camden 2:38
The 101 Greatest Country Hits, Vol. 3: Easy Country 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:36
Country Classics, Vol. 1: Honky Tonk Angels 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
Best Selection 1997 BMG
Best of Country [Madacy 1997] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:39
1960's Rock N Roll 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 2:36
Pure Country: 60's Superstars 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records / Pure Country 2:33
Music That Changed Our Lives: 60's 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 2:41
Love Songs of the 60's, 70's and 80's 1998
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:38
Mega Country, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Pmf
Blues & Soul Bible 1998
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill
Classic Country: Country Memories 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Time / Life Music 2:38
Mega Country [10 CD] 1998
Various Artists
Americana Records, Inc.
20th Century Country, Vol. 1: Country Classics - Honky Tonk Angels 1998
Various Artists
Dominion 2:38
Love Songs [Columbia River] 1999
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:38
Mods Vs. Rockers 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 3:05
Teenage Crush, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Ace 2:39
Country Ladies [Goldies] 1999
Various Artists
Goldies 2:39
Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 60's, Vol. 1 [1999] 1999
Various Artists
RCA 2:38
Classic Country: 1950-1964 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:38
Classic Country: 1960-1964 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:38
Girl, Interrupted [Including Score] 2000
Original Soundtrack
TVT 2:38
Country Oldies 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:37
Country Music Classics 2000
Various Artists
Import 2:39
Classic Country Crate 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:39
Country Queens [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:43
Women in Rock [Direct Source #2] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:43
History of Country Music: Classic Country Love Songs 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
Great Women of Country 2000
Various Artists
Green Hill Productions / CD Baby 2:38
Love Affair: Sixties Love Songs 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:38
Country Heat Classics 2001
Various Artists
BMG International
A Decade in Sound 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:36
RCA Country Legends 2001 Buddha Records 2:38
Riding in Cars with Boys 2001
Original Soundtrack
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 2:38
That's Country [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:38
No Image 2001
Various Artists
WEA / Warner
Golden Age of Pop: Love Songs of the '60s 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:39
Country Superstars, Vol. 1 [Columbia River #2] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:34
Hedwig's Theme From Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:17
Country's Greatest Hits [K-Tel] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
Stars of Country [Columbia River] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:35
Rock N' Roll Hits: Golden 1963 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:39
Women of Country [Mastersong 2002] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group / Mastersong 2:38
It's Over: 16 Sounds of Goodbye 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel
Best of the Best 2002 Federal Records 2:41
Elite: Country 2002
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Best of Country [Madacy 2002] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy 2:45
Ultimate Power of Country Love 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
Red, White & Rock 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 2:39
I Can't Stop Loving You [Madacy] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy 2:45
Top Hits of the Sixties: Coolest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 2:38
Pop Hits Collection 2003 Taragon Records 2:38
Classic Country: Queens of Country 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:37
Triple Value: Country 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
No Image 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:36
Real 60's: Country 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:38
The Great Country Collection 2004
Various Artists
Red X 2:38
Country Heartbreak [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
Blueberry Hill/The End of the World 2004 Collectables 2:37
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:38
Lifetime of Romance [Time Life] 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 0:00
Country Highlights: I Walk the Line 2005
Various Artists
Double Pleasure
Country: The Essential Album 2005
Various Artists
Essential Records 2:38
Country Ladies [K-Tel Box Set] 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
The Best of Country [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky / Disky Communications 2:38
Country Heartbreakers [K-Tel UK] 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
Daltry Calhoun [Original Soundtrack] 2005
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 2:38
All American Country 2005 BMG Special Products 2:37
K-Tel Presents Country Heartbreak 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:40
Solid Gold Country [Union Square] 2005
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:38
Top 20 of Country 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
K-Tel Presents: Country Gals 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution / Brentwood / K-Tel 2:40
No Image 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Classic Country: Sweet Country Ballads 2006
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:38
One Hit Wonders of the 60's 70's and 80's 2006
Various Artists
Dove
Country Legends: 60 Country Hits 2006
Various Artists
Diamond Recordings 2:36
All American Country [BMG] 2006
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:38
Sound of Summer [United Multi License] 2006
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment / United Multi License 2:38
Dirty Diamonds, Vol. 3 2006
Various Artists
Diamondtraxx
The End of the World [Gusto] 2006 Good Time Records / Gusto Records 2:40
Greatest Ever! Country 2006
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music 2:39
Forever Country [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:44
Easy Listening Hits [2 Disc] 2006
Various Artists
EQ / EQ Singapore 2:39
Lifetime of Country Romance: Always on My Mind 2006
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:38
Lifetime of Country Romance Collection 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:38
Legendary Ladies: Country Roads 2007
Various Artists
KRB Music 2:38
100 Hits: Country 2007
Various Artists
Super D Independent Distribution / 100 Hits / DMG TV 2:37
Top Hits of the 60s: Coolest Hits 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 2:38
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Country Top Hits of the 60's 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 2:37
No Image 2007 K-Tel Distribution 2:36
Country [Intro Collection] 2008
Various Artists
The Intro Collection 2:38
Best of Country Legends [Madacy] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy Entertainment 2:45
The First Ladies of Country [Metro] 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP
Best of Country [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:43
Simply Country Greats 2008
Various Artists
Simply 2:37
Country Greats [Union Square] 2008
Various Artists
Metro Tins / Union Square Music 2:37
The Intro Collection: Country 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:38
The Boat That Rocked [Movie Soundtrack] 2009
Original Soundtrack
Mercury
Good Morning England 2009
Original Soundtrack
Mercury 2:39
Rock 'N' Roll & Petticoats: Hits der 50er + 60er 2009
Various Artists
Edel Records 2:37
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Commercial Canada
No Image 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Sony Music Entertainment 2:37
Old Fashioned Love Songs 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:35
Best of Country Hits 2010
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 2:44
Pure...Country 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:37
Love Songs Actually 2011
Various Artists
Mercury 2:37
Golden Age of Pop [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:39
The End of the World: Country Hits 1958-1972 2011 T-Bird Americana 2:36
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1963 2011
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:37
Be My Baby: The Girls of the Sixties 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:36
Pure... 60s 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:37
La Collection RTL Georges Lang, Vol. 2 2012
Various Artists
WEA 2:35
200 Sixties Hits: 200 Classic No. 1 Songs from the 60s 2012
Various Artists
Maximuze 2:36
No. 1 Country Hits Collection 2012
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:37
Queens of Country [CMR] 2012
Various Artists
CMR
Sing Duets/Here's the Answer 2013 Sepia Records 2:39
100 Hits: 60s Originals 2013
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:37
100 Country Hits & Greatest Country Classics 2013
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:37
Country Love [2015] 2014
Various Artists
My Kind of Music
Top 40: Sixties 2014
Various Artists
Crimson
No Image 2015
Various Artists
Crimson
The Solid Silver '60s: Greatest Hits 2015
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:35
No Image 2015
Various Artists
Republic
The Complete RCA Singles As & Bs 1953-1962 2016 Acrobat Music 2:38
The '60s Love Album 2017
Various Artists
Crimson
100 Hits: The Best Sixties Album 2017
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:37
100 Hits: The Best Country Album 2018
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:35
100 Essential Tracks: 60's
Various Artists
Sony Music
100 Hits: Country [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
101 Most Beloved Pop Masterpieces
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:39
No Image
Various Artists
Tabak 2:40
No Image
Various Artists
Laurie
20 Million Dollar Memories, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Laurie 2:37
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel
No Image
Various Artists
Backtracks Records
Absolute Unforgettable Classics, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Eva
No Image
Various Artists
Backtracks Records 2:38
American Heartland: Legends of Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:37
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:36
Country Ladies [Beverly Glen]
Various Artists
Dominion 2:39
Country Music of Your Life
Various Artists
Rhino / StarVista / Time Life 2:38
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel
De Pre Historie: 1963, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:37
Divine Divas: The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection
Various Artists
Big 3 2:39
Dreamboats and Petticoats: 10th Anniversary Collection
Various Artists
UMOD 2:38
Evergreens [Universal]
Various Artists
TVCD
No Image
Various Artists
Cherished Records
No Image
Various Artists
Time / Life Music / WEA
Golden Oldies Collection
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:36
No Image
Karaoke
K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:41
Kings & Queens of Country [Delta]
Various Artists
Music Digital
Love Songs of the 60's, Vol. 4
Various Artists
Success 2:37
Milkshakes and Heartaches Presents Love Songs
Various Artists
Sony Music
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel
Opry Country Classics, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Opry 2:18
Original Country Stars On CD
Various Artists
Gusto Records 2:40
Play Something Country
Various Artists
Sony Music
Shades of Country [L&D Box]
Various Artists
L & D
Skeeter Davis Gralin Music
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:36
Super Sixties
Various Artists
Pegasus
The Battle of the Giants
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:38
The Big Hits of Yesterday, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Sepia / Sepia Records 2:36
No Image K-Tel
No Image K-Tel
The Real...Country Collection
Various Artists
Legacy
No Image
Various Artists
Backtracks Records
Time Life: '60s Country
Various Artists
Time Life 2:37
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel
Ultimate... 60s
Various Artists
Legacy
Ultimate... Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:33
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