Talking Heads Wrote the Best Anthem For a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

It's the cassette tape that everybody should have in their earthquake go-bag: The single "Life During Wartime" by the Talking Heads.


The song comes from their 1979 album Fear of Music and seems to be set in an urban dystopia with bands of freedom fighters skulking in the shadows. There's meager rations, a cacophony of gunfire, and street-level espionage. In short, everything one might expect in a song about a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

"The sound of gunfire / off in the distance / I'm getting used to it now," David Byrne sings as he plays the protagonist in this dark ode to a broken world.

"I got some groceries / some peanut butter / to last a couple of days," he laments as we begin to mentally tally what's in our own cupboards, wondering how long we might survive should everything turn to shit.

"We got computers / we're tapping phone-lines / I know that that ain't allowed," Byrne wails as we turn to the most pressing question of our hypothetical post-apocalyptic world: Would we still have the internet?

Like I said, better pick up this track on cassette just to be safe. [YouTube]

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Actually, if you're talking about a Talking Heads anthem for a post-apocalyptic wasteland, you've got the wrong song.

Talking Heads - (Nothing but) Flowers: