About The Song

Recorded at a time when Frank Sinatra considered retiring, ‘My Way’ has become a timeless anthem for the generations that followed.

Frank Sinatra‘s recording of “My Way” has spent longer on the UK singles chart than any other song – an amazing 124 weeks. That’s almost twice as long as its nearest rival, which you might be surprised to know is “Amazing Grace” by Judy Collins. It’s a timeless anthem that, even in a digital world where songs can be streamed endlessly at the touch of a button, will never be superseded, no matter the prevailing trends.

Sinatra recorded the song on December 30, 1968, at Western Recorders, in what was a rare event for The Chairman: an afternoon recording session. At around 3 pm, 40 musicians, conducted Sinatra’s long-standing pianist Bill Miller, began working on what would become an anthem for Frank – and whole generations to follow. The song was, however, originally composed as “Comme d’Habitude” (“As Usual”), written by Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibault along with Egyptian-born French singer Claude François. Canadian singer Paul Anka added the English words, turning it into the classic we now know.

According to Anka, “I had a house in France, which was where I heard the Claude François record, and I liked the melody, but not the words so much. I knew the French publisher and they gave me the song, and I thought I would reconstruct the feel of the song. I met Frank where he was filming Tony Rome, and he said he was retiring. The song became a composite of my life and his, but mostly his. I made a demo with a session singer, called him; I said that I thought I had something pretty sensational. Don saw the worth of it – Frank stayed cool, but I knew he liked it. Three, four, five weeks later, I had a phone call and they said, ‘Listen to this,’ and played the record over the phone to me. They were very excited! I’d never had a song quite of that substance. It was pressed up, but they threw the first run of copies away because they didn’t like the mix.”

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Anka’s attempt to write an English lyric for “Comme d’Habitude” was not the first. A few months before Anka, David Bowie had a crack calling it “Even A Fool Learns To Love,” but his demo (containing the lyrics “There was a time, the laughing time/I took my heart to every party/They’d point my way/How are you today?”) was rejected.

Sinatra’s version of “My Way” entered the Billboard chart in the last week of March 1969 at No. 69; it was the highest new entry of the week. Six weeks later, it reached its peak of No. 27, where it stalled – surprisingly, given the song’s subsequent status as an anthem. ‘My Way’ made No. 5 in the UK, which accounts for the fact that the LP of the same name did significantly better in Britain in the summer of 1969.

Video

https://youtu.be/qQzdAsjWGPg

Lyric

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤

 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 traveled 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
And 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