Saturday, October 2, 2010

Frank Sinatra's My Way

Singer: Frank Sinatra
English Lyrics by: Paul Anka
Song Based on: Comme d'habitude
Original French-language Lyrics by: Claude Francois and Gilles Thibault
Music by: Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux

As the The Guardian's Joe Quuenan says in How Sinatra did it My Way
Comme d'habitude morphed into My Way after Paul Anka, the seasoned Canadian lounge act, heard it on a trip to Paris. A one-time teen idol, whose 1958 recording of Diana sold 10 million records, Anka wrote the lyrics to My Way specifically with Sinatra in mind. According to the composer, whose other hits included Lonely Boy, Puppy Love and Put Your Head on My Shoulder, he knocked off the song in a single late-night session during a driving rainstorm.
Neil McCormick writes more about the son's development in the Daily Telegraph, in Paul Anka: One song the Sex Pistols won't be singing:
Paul Anka: "At one o'clock in the morning, I sat down at an old IBM electric typewriter and 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. I used to be around steam rooms with the Rat Pack guys - they liked to talk like mob guys, even though they would have been scared of their own shadows." Anka finished the song at 5am. "I called Frank up in Nevada—he was at Caesar's Palace—and said, 'I've got something really special for you.'?"
The song was written and released as part of an album of the same name by Reprise Records in 1969. Out of print, Concord Records has re-issued the classic album. For more information, see Frank Sintra's official site.

My Way
And now, the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain.
My friends, 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 travelled each and every highway.
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets? I've had a few,
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course -
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew,
When I bit off more than I could chew,
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried,
I've had my fill - my share of losing.
But now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way -
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way.

For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself - Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way.

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