We’ve all done it. Yes, own up, walking back from the pub, in the shower, driving home from work, we’ve all sung those immortal lines…”I did it…. My Waaaaay……
In 1969, Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way” made the British Top ten for the first time and over the next three years it made history by re-entering the singles chart on eight different occasions.
Canadian tunesmith Paul Anka (Diana), wrote the lyrics with Sinatra in mind, (these were set to music based on the French song “Comme d’habitude” composed in 1967 by Claude François and Jacques Revaux, (Anka’s English lyrics are unrelated to the original French song).
“At one o’clock in the morning, I sat down at an old IBM electric typewriter”, Anka said, “If Frank were writing this, what would he say?’ And I started, metaphorically, ‘And now the end is near.’ I read a lot of periodicals, and I noticed everything was ‘my this’ and ‘my that’. We were in the ‘me generation’ and Frank became the guy for me to use to say that. I used words I would never use: ‘I ate it up and spit it out.’ But that’s the way he talked.”
“My Way” is often quoted as the most covered song in history with versions by many artists from Elvis Presley, to Nina Simone to Sid Vicious (who performs a rousing version in the Sex Pistols 1980 movie The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle).
But a word of warning. Next time you take to the stage in a Karaoke bar to belt out your rendition of “My Way”, sing with caution. There has been at least half a dozen murders over the past decade allegedly triggered by people singing the song so badly in karaoke bars (all in Asia where they take their karaoke very seriously!), resulting in many karaoke bars removing the song from their songbooks to avoid any further violence.
You have been warned!