Is That All There Is?

In 1969, I was in high school. A song called Is That All There Is? was released and sung by Peggy Lee. She had the best voice for this song, a ballad and that appeared to be a song about disillusionment. Of course, everything was being protested about. The war, treatment of black people, the economy, old values, treatment of women, and so on. So why not throw life in there, too?

The song was really sad, in my opinion. It seemed to be about someone who gave up hope. Completely. If hope is gone, faith fails us, then what is there? Here are the lyrics, see for yourselves.

“I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over I said to myself, is that all there is to a fire Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

And when I was twelve years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
And so I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what, but when it was over
I said to myself, “is that all there is to a circus?Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball If that’s all there is

Then I fell in love, head over heels in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
Then one day he went away and I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
and when I didn’t I said to myself, is that all there is to love?Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing

I know what you must be saying to yourselves
if that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?
Oh, no, not me I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment
for I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you
when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my first breath, I’ll be saying to myself

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is”

Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller Is That All There Is lyrics ¬© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Depressing, isn’t it? As I look back at it now, I don’t think I could ever think this way. The only time I came close was when I knew my first marriage was over. After the divorce, I could smile again. I never gave up hope that life would be better than living with someone I no longer loved.

Reflecting back, I think this song could be for an alcoholic. The one who is very jaded. And places blame everywhere but on their own shoulders. I have known so many. The ones very deep in their addictions and attitude reflect this every day of their lives. They were always the first to tell me, “Have a few beers, it won’t seem so bad.” My response was always, “That would be the very worst time to drink.”

I’m not an alcoholic, I do drink, and I’m not a drug user, except for what my doctor’s recommend. Yes, there are times we all have a couple more than we should. That behavior is not what I’m speaking about. We have many such folk in my extended family. I say these things not to criticize and not pass judgement. I say them because everyone in the family is affected whether they are an active user, drinker, take your pick, you may be so used to the bad behavior and it’s consequences, you may not realize how affected you are by them.

In my book, “These Walls DO Talk”, the main female character is confronted by all these memories. Will she be strong enough to break the family curse? How does she do it? You will have to buy my book to find out. It is still being written as we speak, but I will keep you up to date as to the release date and other noteworthy parts of our journey.

Please let me know your opinions on the premise of my realistic fiction story. I’d love your feedback. Thank you so much, and stay positive. Life is so wonderful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s