The My Way Killings

He did it his way ... but thankfully not in The Phillipines!

Apparently, doing it your way can get you killed.

The New York Times reports that the Philippines has been hit by a series of murders all supposedly provoked by karaoke versions of the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way.”  Apparently over a dozen people have been bumped off after singing the song in karaoke bars leading to the local media giving it the moniker “the My Way killings.”

Rodolfo Gregorio is an amateur karaoke singer in the Philippines who is quoted in the Times as saying, “The trouble with My Way is that everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion. I used to like My Way but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it. You can get killed.”

“Stories like these,” says Sean Michaels for The Guardian, “have helped My Way to gain a sinister, even malevolent reputation. While some say the violence is simply a matter of statistics – the song is one of the favourites in a country prone to violence – others blame its boastful style. Paul Anka wrote the English lyrics with Sinatra in mind, and they reflect Old Blue Eyes’ preeminence. A man, his song explains, must “say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels”.

(On a personal note,  my Granddad favored My Way at every family gathering—after about four scotches he would invariably take command of the floor and insist that, unlike Frankie, he didn’t need a microphone. They were the longest 4 minutes and 30 seconds of our lives. Murder never came to mind, but drugging his scotch certainly did…)

To be fair, Old Blue Eyes apparently isn’t the only performer to have provoked a wave of karaoke bar brutality. Apparently a man  in Malaysia killed eight of his neighbors after trying their hand at John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads, and a Seattle man was attacked after tackling Coldplay’s Yellow.

Stranger things have happened … I think. The Guardian suggests the remedy could perhaps be as simple as … singing lessons?

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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