The “Lush Life” is a jazz standard that was written during the 1930s.
In the song, the singer expresses how tired he is of the night life. He sings about how he fell in love, but then that relationship failed, and now he is resigned to live a life of loneliness with other people who are lonely like him.
This song conjures up images of rich people wasting their time drinking cocktails, etc. And in looking at some of the advertisements from Chinese newspapers in Singapore in the 1930s, it looks like the song could have easily applied to the life of some rich Chinese guy there at that time as well.
Or at least that is what we can imagine. Click on the video above, and follow the lyrics below, as we view some images of the “lush life” in 1930s Singapore.
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 distant gay 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 awhile 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