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Reply #6: Some Bits and Pieces - You Folks are Very Good ! [View All]

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Shalom Donating Member (832 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Some Bits and Pieces - You Folks are Very Good !
There is one story in the PBS documentary on Peggy Lee in which the songwriters (Stoller and Lieber) recount that Peggy more or less threatened them in a semi-joking manner about letting her have the song, or else....

Another perspective is given by an individual below about the orgin of the lyrics:

I've just discovered that the song ``Is That All There Is?'' (written by Stoller & Lieber) is actually taken from a story called ``Disillusionment'' by Thomas Mann (written when he was twenty). The following summary, taken from Colin Wilson's book The Craft of the Novel, makes this absolutely unmistakable.

The narrator is sitting in St Mark's Square in Venice when he falls into a conversation with a fellow countryman. The man asks, "Do you know what disillusionment is? Not a miscarriage in small unimportant matters, but the great and general disappointment which everything, all of life, has in store?" He tells how, as a small boy, the house caught fire; yet as they watched it burn down he was thinking, "So this is a house on fire? Is that all?" And ever since then, life has been a series of disappointments; all the great experiences have left him with the feeling: "Is that all?" Only when he saw the sea for the first time, he says, did he feel a sudden tremendous craving for freedom, for a sea without a horizon... And one day, death will come, and he expects it to be the last great disappointment. "Is this all?"

The song sung by Peggy Lee leaves out the part about the sea, but ends, just as Thomas Mann's story does, with the idea that death will be just one more disappointment.

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