“And now, the end is near;
and so i face the final curtain.
my friend, i’ll say it clear,
i’ll state my case, of which i’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full.
i’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway;
but more, much more than this,
i did it my way”.
How many times have you listened “My way” sung by everyone you can think of? And by everyone, I mean, every half way decent singer has sung it at some point or another. I am sure that more than once… just like I am sure that at some point, deep inside, every person that has had to stand up for itself, face its existence with its ups and downs, and endure life´s onslaught, has thought at one point or another; “This is my song”!
Many have performed “My Way” but in full honesty, who has done it better than Sinatra? Neither by chance nor fortune is one of Frank´s most iconic songs. The song was originally writen by French songwriter Jacques Revaux (born Jacques Abel Jules Revaud) under the title “Comme d´habitude” and reworked and arranged by Paul Anka for Frank Sinatra’s original retirement in 1969. Well, we know how that worked out… Ol´Blue Eyes couldn’t stay away from his crowd and his Neumann U47 microphone to which he made love with every note, ultimately returning to the stage for 25 more years.
But like always, some strange things happen and when Sinatra returned to the stages, he discovered everyone wanted to hear “My Way.” It had become sort of his trademark, his signature… his number, and of course, audiences wouldn’t let him end a show without singing about how he’d lived his life without regrets.
The song became a part of music history, and as I mentioned before, soon everyone was singing it, been covered by everyone. Some statistics mention that is the song most played at funerals than any other popular song, and according to writer Nolan Moore, in the Philippines, karaoke fans take this song so seriously that bad performances often end in murder.
So, if you are still with me up to this line, you probably wonder… What is the point here? Well, this is one of those strange and funny things -quite funny actually- since Sinatra absolutely hated “My Way.”
Many times in his shows, when he performed, he would tell the audience exactly what he thought about it.
In the course of a gig at Caesars Palace, he told the crowd, -“I hate this song…you sing it for so many years and you would hate it too”- Another time, when he performed at the Los Angeles Amphitheater, he nagged about it -“And of course, the time comes now for the torturous moment…not for you, but for me.”- And his best line ever regarding this song was said at Carnegie Hall, with all the sarcasm he was known for -“My Way” was written by an 18-year-old Frenchman named Jacques.-
Undeniably, Sinatra was exasperated after singing it at every single performance since he would rather sing love songs about others, not a love song about himself. The biggest irony of it all is that even that while Sinatra seemed bigger than life, he loved his audience so much… That he actually did it, “their way” and always, gave it to them without fail.
José E. Urioste Palomeque
José Eugenio Palomeque-Urioste is a Business Intelligence professional in the area of Research and Development (And a Sinatra fan). He began his training process in mass media writing scripts for radio programs, commercials and advertising campaigns. Since then, he has written for newspapers, magazines and mass media in Mexico and the United States, ranging from the professional to the editorial and has written 3 fiction novels that have been presented in numerous forums and literary competitions causing much controversy as to its content.
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