Lush Life

Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn



PROFILE
Composer and Lyricist Billy Strayhorn
Year Written 1938
About Lush Life
Though written between 1936 and 1938, “Lush Life” was not performed publicly until 1948, when Strayhorn and vocalist Kay Davis performed it with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1948. It’s rather amazing to realize that Strayhdorn was only a teenager when he started writing this song. It has had several notable recordings, including those by Nat “King” Cole, Billy Ekstine and Johnny Hartman.

Lyrics

I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come what may places
Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life
From jazz and cocktails.

The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distingué traces
That used to be there you could see where they’d been washed away
By too many through the day
Twelve o’clock tales.

Then you came along with your siren song
To tempt me to madness!
I thought for a while that your poignant smile was tinged with the sadness
Of a great love for me.

Ah yes! I was wrong
Again,
I was wrong.

Life is lonely again,
And only last year everything seemed so sure.
Now life is awful again,
A trough-full of hearts could only be a bore.

A week in Paris will ease the bite of it,
All I care is to smile in spite of it.

I’ll forget you, I will
While yet you are still burning inside my brain.

Romance is mush,
Stifling those who strive.
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive

And there I’ll be, while I rot
With the rest of those whose lives are lonely, too.

Session / Album Information

2014

“Lush Life” was recorded in 2014 as a solo by Lady Gaga and released that year on Cheek To Cheek. It was arranged by Jorge Calandrelli.

This recording released on:

  • 2014: Columbia/RPM/Streamline/Intercept Records: B0021493-02 – Cheek To Cheek (standard edition)
  • 2014: Columbia/RPM/Streamline/Intercept Records: B0021494-02 – Cheek To Cheek (deluxe edition)
  • 2014: Columbia/RPM/Streamline/Intercept Records: B0021861-03 – Cheek To Cheek (Target edition)
  • 2014: Columbia/RPM/Streamline/Intercept Records: B0021688-02 – Cheek To Cheek (HSN edition)
  • 2014: Columbia/RPM/Streamline/Intercept Records: Cheek To Cheek (iTunes edition)

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