February 07, 2010

The My Way Karaoke Curse

The New York Times was very sanguine today about the aura of death surrounding the singing of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" in Karaoke bars in the Philippines:

“I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” [Rodolfo Gregorio] 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?
After raising the specter of a possible "My Way" curse, they then spend paragraphs searching for more rational explanations for the deaths related to that song - - - - quoting "My Way" experts (“ ‘I did it my way’ — it’s so arrogant,” Mr. Albarracin said. “The lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights.”) - - - delving thru historical and cultural background, everything short of charts & graphs to feed our rational brains' craving for natural causes. But, if I may play Mulder to the New York Times' Scully, sometimes the supernatural explanation is the best explanation - & it is the stated belief of this weblog that there is something uncannily evil about My Way Karaoke.


Jenny Woolf said...

Maybe the wise thing is to change the words a bit. "Your Way" - how inoffensive can that be?

S. Sandrigon said...

"Your Way" might be an interesting song - like the passive/submissive version. No one would ever fight to sing that at a karaoke bar, tho. The would-be singer would always defer.