Is That All There Is?

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller


PROFILE
Composer Mike Stoller
Lyricist Jerry Leiber
Year Written 1968
About Is That All There Is?
Most people are familiar with Peggy Lee’s recording of this song, who recorded the song in January 1969. The lyrics for this song were inspired by a story by Thomas Mann, Disillusionment. Leiber’s wife Gaby, who escaped the Nazis from the Netherlands prior to the war, introduced her husband to the story and assisted with the lyrics. In fact, most of the words in the chorus are taken verbatim from the Mann story.

Lyrics

I remember when I was a very little kid, 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 underwear 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 12 years old, my father took me to the 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 as 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, with the most wonderful girl 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, she left me. 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 he feels about it why doesn’t he 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 last 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

Session / Album Information

1969

“Is That All There Is” was recorded on October 7, 1969 and released the following year on the album Tony Sings The Great Hits of Today! It was arranged by Peter Matz.

This recording released on:

  • 1970: Columbia LP 12″: CS 9980 — Tony Sings The Great Hits Of Today
  • 2011: Disc #39 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK38) Tony Sings The Great Hits of Today!

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes