Archive for the ‘Duck and Cover’ Category

Duck and Cover: Whose Way?

December 12, 2009


Regrets, I’ve had a few….But then again, too few to mention….

He didn’t write it, but once he sang it, the song was eternally his. He lived and breathed that song.

My Way was adapted in 1969 by Paul Anka from an old French song, Comme d’habitude. He changed the lyrics, kept the music.

Originally, David Bowie intended to record an English adaptation of the song called Even a Fool Learns to Love.

But thankfully, Anka beat him to the punch, purchasing the rights to the song before Bowie had a chance to record.

As a result, a slightly peeved Bowie locked himself in a room with a piano, ashtray and a chaise lounge, ultimately resurfacing with the song Life on Mars, a surreal parody of the song that “got away”.

The liner notes for it even read, “Inspired by Frankie”.

It would seem fate intervened for the audiocrats of the world—just as My Way went on to become one of Mr. Sinatra’s most revered songs, Life On Mars became one of Bowie’s.

But this is neither about fate nor Bowie.

Anka wrote My Way with Frank Sinatra in mind, sculpting his lyrics for Old Blue Eyes specifically.

When it was released, Anka’s record label was angry he didn’t keep it for himself, but Anka said it was for Frank…Only Frank.

In 1973, against Anka’s advice, Elvis Presley put My Way in his set for the Aloha From Hawaii special.

It was well received, ultimately becoming a posthumous hit.

Few people have really earned the right to sing this.

Elvis earned that right.


A lot of people covered this song. Crap loads.

But none of them mattered.

None of them did it their way.

They did it his way, and that way has already been done.

With one exception.

Now, as a self-professed Sinatraphile, I should hate Sid Vicious‘ version with all my heart and soul.

But I don’t. I like it almost as much as the original.


Maybe I’m just a little punk deep down inside, but whether you love the electric guitar and Britt-Punk growls or not, you have to make one admission.

He did it his way.

Whether it was drinking till dawn and chasing skirts on the strip, wearing a polyester jumpsuit and shooting at TV’s or a slow suicide attempt through hard drugs and even harder living, these three never relented from themselves or their demons.

They did what they did, and nobody could stop them. For better or worse they truly did it their way.