Sinatra's My Way Karaoke-Killings in the Philippines

If you want to sing in a karaoke bar in the Philippines, be forewarned not to sing Frank Sinatra's My Way ... that tune by Ol' Blue Eyes could just be your last ...

“I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” he said. “You can get killed.”

The authorities do not know exactly how many people have been killed warbling “My Way” in karaoke bars over the years in the Philippines, or how many fatal fights it has fueled. But the news media have recorded at least half a dozen victims in the past decade and includes them in a subcategory of crime dubbed the “My Way Killings.”

The killings have produced urban legends about the song and left Filipinos groping for answers. Are the killings the natural byproduct of the country’s culture of violence, drinking and machismo? Or is there something inherently sinister in the song?

Whatever the reason, many karaoke bars have removed the song from their playbooks. And the country’s many Sinatra lovers, like Mr. Gregorio here in this city in the southernmost Philippines, are practicing self-censorship out of perceived self-preservation.

Norimitsu Onishi of The New York Times has the fascinating story: Link (Photo: Jes Aznar/NY Times)


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There's a reason behind it....this song is usually sung in local bars where a lot of Pinoys retire after hard work during the day. My Way is song of choice, because, well, it's kinda easy to sing, and the words, not difficult. That, added to the fact that most of these singers are too drunk to realize they're hogging the microphone, results to a very deadly outcome. It's not a myth, nor a superstition. It happened. Quite a few times.
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I once did a spot-on, note-for-note (read: off-key, with Cockney accent) karaoke of The Sex Pistols version of the song in a redneck bar in an Atlanta suburb, and, almost got killed myelf.

It probably didn't help that, in my intro, I dedicated it to anyone in the audience who didn't think of WWE when they heard the name "Sid Vicious". Or, perhaps it was the "Today, I killed a ca-a-a-a-at / And, may I say / Not in the gay way..." lyric.

Ah, fun times!
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"They" say to never criticize the Twilight books in front of a 13 year old girl or you take a chance of being stabbed with a sharp pencil. (In the U.S. of A.)
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Maybe enough cocky and stubborn people -- the kind who are likely to figure in a fight -- embrace "My Way" as a vindication of their contrariness? In other words, not that the song gets you killed, but that people with greater chances of being killed are singing it?

Sid Vicious' cover of the song rules, IMHO.
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Kara-choke-me singers beware! Evidently, some things ARE sacred. I can think of several times I wanted to pull the trigger on that crap.
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