The song is featured on The End of Evangelion and The End of Evangelion Singles soundtracks. The Evangelion Vox soundtrack contains a remix called Komm Süsser Tod (Tumbling Down Mix) which has the same lyrics but is performed by a different artist to slightly different music. These are soundtracks from the Neon Genesis Evangelion series and movies.

Hideaki Anno originally wrote the lyrics for this song, which were then translated into English and slightly altered to become what we know today.

Some people think that Anno, who is Japanese, derived the German title of the song from one of Bach’s Cantata’s. His Cantata 161 is called "Komm, du süsse Todesstunde”, which translates to “Come thou sweet death's hour" and is similar enough to the title used to be a plausible source.

The lyrics are as follows:

Komm Süsser Tod (Come, Sweet Death)

Vocals – Arianne
Original lyrics – Anno Hideaki
Translation - Mike Wyzgowski
Music and Arrangement - Shiro Sagisu


I know, I know I've let you down
I've been a fool to myself
I thought that I could live for no one else
But now, through all the hurt and pain
It's time for me to respect
the ones you love mean more than anything

So with sadness in my heart
I feel the best thing I could do
is end it all and leave forever
What's done is done, it feels so bad
What once was happy now is sad
I'll never love again, my world is ending...

I wish, that I could turn back time
cos now the guilt is all mine
can't live without the trust from those you love
I know, we can't forget the past
you can't forget love and pride
because of that it's killing me inside

It all returns to nothing, it all comes
Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down

It all returns to nothing, I just keep
Letting me down
Letting me down
Letting me down

In my heart of hearts
I know that I could never love again
I've lost everything
Everything
Everything that matters to me, matters in this world

I wish that I could turn back time
cos now the guilt is all mine
can't live without the trust from those you love
I know, we can't forget the past
you can't forget love and pride
because of that it's killing me inside

It all returns to nothing, it just keeps
Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down

It all returns to nothing, I just keep
Letting me down
Letting me down
Letting me down

It all returns to nothing, it just keeps
Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down

It all returns to nothing, I just keep
Letting me down
Letting me down
Letting me down

Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down

Letting me down
Letting me down
Letting me down

Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down

Letting me down
Letting me down
Letting me down


ansate, I can't "definitely see how much of this song is a blatant rip-off of hey jude." Let's examine your reasoning for suggesting this shall we.

  1. Komm Süsser Tod clocks in at 7 minutes 41 seconds while Hey Jude comes in at 7 minutes and 4 seconds.
  2. The end of each song uses repetition.
  3. They are both "piano-based".

You came up with only three reasons why Komm Süsser Tod is such an "obvious" rip-off of Hey Jude. I shall address these reasons now.

  1. It is true that they are about the same length but following your logic One by Metallica which is 7 minutes 26 seconds long must have coppied Hey Jude too! Or to go even further maybe Hey Jude itself was coppied off Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings which was written in 1936 and, depending on the arrangement, comes to around 7 minutes and 40 seconds.
  2. That is true as well! Though it means nothing when you consider the fact that it is very hard to write lyrics for a 7 minute song, after all, the Beatles didn't do it...
  3. This assertion of yours is not true. The introduction of Komm Süsser Tod is indeed based on a piano solo, however the rest of the song proceeds to make heavy use of Strings including the double bass and violin.

Simply put, the reasons you gave are barely enough to say that the songs are "similar". They are certainly not reason enough to start accusing Shiro Sagisu of copying and "ripping-off" The Beatles. So I think we have covered the not-so-apparent lack of originality that Komm Süsser Tod possesses, now onto the issue of how it fit into Neon Genesis Evangelion

I think you missed the point completely. It was meant to sound happy, it was meant tosound upbeat, it was written in a major key! The lyrics are sad and depressing, the music is not. It was supposed to be a contrast, a clash between what is being shown and what we are listening to, and in my opinion it worked very well. It's the end of the word as we know it and everyone is siging a happy sounding song about how It all returns to nothing! Everyone was dying, they were all fading away, it was the end of the world and Komm Süsser Tod rang out this end of existance perfectly.


Update after ansate's update.

You begged the question, not I. I was simply answering your question. My answer is that I can't "definitely see how much of this song is a blatant rip-off of hey jude." It's as simple as that.

Also "influenced by" would probably have been better, though I still dissagree on that. If it was influcenced by anything it was Pachelbel's Canon, the first "piano-based" bit as you put it uses the same chord progression as the Canon.

Finally, if you hear Hey Jude when it plays and think it is completely wrong for that scene then I'm sorry. I'm sorry becuase it is spoiling one of the most powerful scenes in a movie for you and you are missing out on something special.


Update 17/09/01

A very literal translation of Anno Hideaki's original poem (which Nihilanth has very accurately posted below) was given by Bochan_Bird on the Evangelion Mailing List a while ago. His translation is as follows, please note that when a word has two possible meanings they are separated by a slash "/".

I feel uneasy.
I feel uneasy.
I'm afraid of being hated by everyone.
I'm afraid of being hurt.
But I'm more afraid of hurting other people.
But I end up hurting (them).
I hurt the people I like/love.
That's why I won't like people.
That's why I hurt myself.

Because I'm scared.
Because I hate (myself) very much.

I mustn't come to like (other people).
That's why I hurt myself.

Tenderness is extremely cruel.
If I yield my heart, I will be broken/destroyed.
If our hearts touch, that person will be hurt.

So, I have no recourse but to be broken/destroyed.
No recourse but to return to nothing.

Let's return to nothing.
Let's return to nothing.
That is the place filled with tenderness.
That is the place without the pain of truth.
The place without wavering of the heart.

Let's return to nothing.
Let's return to nothing.
Let's return to nothing.
Let's return to nothing....(repeat))

These original lyrics did actually appear in the early Japanese script scenario for The End of Evangelion, but eventually the "interpretation" was used. They also appear on the lyrics sheet of the End of Evangelion CD single as well as of course being contained within the S² Works (Evangelion BGM Box Set).

On the End of Evangelion soundtrack, the artist is referred to as "ARIANNE".

Truth be told, the song bears a closer resemblance to a non-specific song by ABBA faithfully constrained to the chord progression (note singular) from Pachelbel's Canon than anything even remotely resembling "Hey Jude".

Additionally, I've played a concert band arrangement of a Bach piece called "Komm Süsser Tod", although whether or not this is simply a simplification in title of the Bach piece already mentioned above is unknown to me.

The following is the original poem penned by Anno, before it was "tweaked" into the haunting song from End of Evangelion. The lyrics we here in the movie/soundtrack are the interperetation of Mike WYZGOWSKI. They are extremely different from the literal interpretation of the poem, but in a decidedly pleasant/disturbing way. An original translation of Anno's poem can be found at http://avians.net/rkc/reichu/reichu-eva-csd.html (the English translation might be copyrighted or something, so it does not appear here):

"Amaki shi yo, kitare"

Fuan na no.
Fuan na no.
Minna ni kirawareru no ga, kowai.
Jibun ga kizutsuku no ga, kowai.
Demo, HITO o kizutsukeru no ga, motto kowai.
Demo, kizutsukete shimau.
Suki na HITO o kizutsukete shimau.
Dakara, HITO o suki ni naranai.
Dakara, jibun o kizutsukeru no.

Kirai dakara.
Dai~ KIRAI dakara.

Suki ni natte wa, ikenai no.
Dakara, jibun o kizutsukeru.

Yasashisa wa totemo zankoku Kokoro o yudanetara, watashi wa kowarete shimau
Kokoro ga fure-aeba, ano hito wa kizutsuku

Dakara, watashi wa kowareru shika nai
Mu e to kaeru shika nai

Mu e to kaerou
Mu e to kaerou
Sore wa, yasashisa ni michita tokoro
Soko wa, shinjitsu no itami no nai tokoro
Kokoro no yuragi no nai tokoro

Mu e to kaerou
Mu e to kaerou
Tanin no inai mu e to kaerou
Mu e to kaerou
Mu e to kaerou
Kizutsuku koto no nai mu e to kaerou...(REPEAT)

Run it through the babelfish. I dare ya!

If you don't want to bother following the link to find the translation, just imagine the entirety of Shinji's internal dialogue for one or two episodes formatted to look like a poem.

This is easily one of the most recognizable songs from any anime, anywhere (although "Sobakasu" from Ruroni Kenshin might be a good runner-up). It's catchy, it's eerie, and it takes place during an extremely disturbing and traumatic part of the movie. What more can you ask? It's a terrific song from when the vocals begin until the last minute-or-three, but definitely worth hearing regardless (just be prepared for gratuitous hand-clapping).

The only other time I've heard a woman sing so happily about suicide was "that Tori Amos song that my girlfriend always plays in her car that I can never remember the name of".

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