Wednesday, July 13, 2011

His Derivative Way

Since learning that Sintra’s standard “My Way” shares its melody with the earlier Claude Francois song “Comme d’habitude,” I’ve bouncing between two conclusion. The first is that it’s ironic a song about living your life the way you chose would be derivative of someone else’s song. The second, on the other hand, is that it’s actually fitting that Sinatra’s song took someone else’s musical blueprints and built it up into someone else that became more famous than the original and ultimately more closely identified with him than it was with Francois.

Either way, it sounds wrong to hear someone else singing the song in the “wrong” language and with the “wrong” lyrics.

Also, Paul Anka wrote the English lyrics, so if anything it’s Paul’s way. I’d like to believe that Frank Sinatra was never told that his song wasn’t the original — and if he found out today, he’d be punching dames in heaven.

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