“Is That All There Is” by Peggy Lee is a haunting, fascinating song. It first came to my attention when I saw it performed during Sleep No More in NYC. It’s incredible to think that this song was written is the 1960’s by Leiber and Stoller who also wrote “Jailhouse Rock”, “On Broadway”, and “Stand By Me”.
From wikipedia: The lyrics of this existentialist song are written from the point of view of a person who is disillusioned with events in life that are supposedly unique experiences. The singer tells of witnessing her family’s house on fire when she was a little girl, seeing the circus, and falling in love for the first time. After each recital she expresses her disappointment in the experience. She suggests that we “break out the booze and have a ball — if that’s all there is”, instead of worrying about life. She explains that she’ll never kill herself either because she knows that death will be a disappointment as well. The verses of the song are spoken, rather than sung. Only the refrain of the song is sung.