Do the final songs from each It’s A Sin episode have a deeper meaning?

Here’s everything you need to know about the 80s bops in It’s A Sin

It’s A Sin is a beautifully written, tragic masterpiece of a show that will be remembered for years to come. It’s taught us lessons about LGBTQ+ history that school never did, and opened up important dialogues around HIV/AIDS, as well as encouraging more people to order HIV tests than ever before. But as It’s A Sin is set in the 1980s, it’s full of some (slightly questionable) outfits and some (absolutely banging) songs.

Full of songs from the 1980s and early 90s, the decade of which the series spans, It’s A Sin’s music has been called “poignant and perfectly placed” – particularly each song that’s been chosen to play at the ending of each episode as the credits roll.

You can find out here how to listen to a whole playlist of each and every It’s A Sin bop on the soundtrack, but here’s everything you need to know about the ending songs from all five episodes of It’s A Sin.

Here are the final songs from each episode of It’s A Sin, and what it might mean:

*Warning: Contains spoilers for It’s A Sin*

Episode one – Smalltown Boy

it's a sin songs

At the end of It’s A Sin episode one, Colin has moved in to the Pink Palace and a montage shows the gang all getting ready in the morning, moving around one another in domestic bliss. Ritchie, Colin and Roscoe all have interviews for their careers, getting asked where they want to be in the future.

Colin wants to still be working in the tailor’s, Roscoe wants to be “stinking rich”, and Ritchie talks about fame and fortune, but ultimately just wants to be happy. Then it cuts to a silent hospital room, where Neil Patrick Harris’ character Henry has died.

The final song playing as the credits roll on It’s A Sin episode one is Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat. The members of this group were openly gay and the 1984 song talks about homophobia and what it was like to grow up gay under Thatcher in Britain.

Episode two – Gloria

it's a sin songs

In episode two of It’s A Sin, Colin goes to New York with his gross boss, and Jill spends the episode helping and nursing the group’s friend Gregory Finch – nicknamed Gloria.

At the end of the episode, Gloria is taken back to Scotland by his family and Jill and the rest of the Pink Palace friends try to get in touch with him. We see his grieving family burning all of his things in a bonfire in the garden.

The final song of this episode is Gloria by Laura Branigan. The title of this song is obviously the same as group’s nickname for Gregory, who has just died. Gloria was released in 1982 and was a hugely successful song at the time.

Episode three – Who Wants To Live Forever

it's a sin songs

If you somehow have a heart of stone and hadn’t cried at the first couple of episodes of It’s A Sin, you definitely spent the whole of episode three weeping. This is the episode in which Colin is diagnosed with AIDS, and at the end he sadly dies in hospital and we see Jill, Ritchie, Ash and Roscoe receive the news.

The final song of It’s A Sin episode three is Who Wants To Live Forever. The Queen song was released in 1986. Lyrics include “there’s no time for us” and “who wants to live forever?” and the song’s about life, love and death.

Queen’s iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury tragically died from AIDS in 1991. His band members have set up the Mercury Phoenix Trust in his name, which has given over $17 million in his name to the “global battle against HIV/AIDS”.

Episode four – Heaven Is A Place On Earth

it's a sin songs

In episode four, Jill and the charity she works with stage a protest over pharmaceutical a company’s handling of AIDS drugs. Police turn up to the peaceful protest and begin picking people up, beating and arresting them. In the police van, Ritchie tells his friends about his AIDS diagnosis, telling them “I’m gonna live”.

Heaven Is A Place On Earth is the final song playing during this It’s A Sin episode. The song is by gay icon Belinda Carlisle, and was released in 1987. It’s about finding heaven on Earth through love, and is an iconic song from the 1980s. People are also calling it the “gay song” because it also featured in Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode, with a lesbian couple.

Episode five – Everybody Hurts

it's a sin songs

Much like episode three, you sobbed your way through It’s A Sin episode five and probably needed a lie down in a dark room afterwards to process it all. At the end of this, the final episode of the series, Ritchie dies. Jill and Roscoe travel back from the Isle of Wight and grieve with Ash at the Pink Palace, whilst flashbacks of memories with Ritchie play on the screen. Jill goes to sit with Marcus, a man in hospital with no visitors.

This final song of this episode, and the whole series, is Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. If we’re being super literal, yes, everyone does hurt at the end of It’s A Sin. Almost three weeks after finishing the series, I am in fact still hurting.

Frontman of R.E.M. Michael Stipe is a gay man who has spoken openly about his sexuality. The song was released in 1992 and is universally known as an honest, powerful and emotional song.

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PSA: Here’s how you can listen to the It’s A Sin soundtrack, all in one handy playlist