March 21

“The End of the World”: The Carpenters’ Melodic Version

A song that’s way beyond childhood. Nostalgic. Subtle. Melodic. This song just brings back the memories of childhood and country life. And I must admit, I was once part of this kind of life. Before.

Containing rhetorical questions (that don’t need answers), this song will make you think of some “why’s” in this world. As per questions mostly about life, it also triggers you to digest its message and eventually reflect some of life’s lessons.

A country pop song, “The End of the World” was originally performed by American singer Skeeter Davis. It had its success in the 1960s spawning many covers from different artists around the world.

Song Background

The End of the World” was written by Arthur Kent and lyricist Sylvia Dee. Whereas, the latter drew on her sorrow from her father’s death.

Featuring Floyd Cramer, Skeeter Davis recorded her version with sound engineer Bill Porter on June 8, 1962, at the RCA Studios in Nashville. It was produced by Chet Atkins.

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). Also, it was No. 2 on the Billboard country singles, No. 1 on Billboard’s easy listening, and No. 4 on Billboard’s rhythm and blues.

To date, it is the first and only time that a song cracked the Top 10 on all four Billboard charts. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song of 1963.

"The End of the World": The Carpenters' Melodic Version 1

Skeeter Davis’: Original Version

Sung in the key of B flat, the original version modulates up by a half step to the key of B. Whereas, Skeeter speaks the first two lines of the final stanza, before singing the rest of the stanza, ending the song.

A true art in its form, her version has been featured in several films, TV shows, and even video games.

In addition, Davis’s recording of “The End of the World” was played at Atkins’s funeral in an instrumental by Marty Stuart. Moreover, it was also played at Davis’s own funeral at the Ryman Auditorium.

"The End of the World": The Carpenters' Melodic Version 2

The Carpenter’s Version: A Melodic Cover

On March 5, 1975, American pop music duo The Carpenters released a cover of “The End of the World” as a promotional single from their live album Live in Japan. Produced by Richard Carpenter, it was recorded at the Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan.

Aside from entering the charts in the US, the cover also penetrated singles charts in other countries like Australia, Ireland, and the UK.

In the following video, Karen Carpenter performs the song live in 1979 in Japan. Showing a tasteful of talent and musical artistry, there’s no denying that Karen and the Carpenters, as a whole, gave a new color and justice to this Skeeter Davis’ song.

Here’s the song lyrics and try to sing with it as you reminisce this nostalgic song…

Why does the sun go on shining?
Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
‘Cause you don’t love me anymore

Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye

Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye

Any thoughts folks? Tell us what you think. Don’t forget to like and share this post. Share the country spirit folks! For more country reads, visit our website,


End of the World, Skeeter Davis, The Carpenters

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