The song “My Way” is about American individualism, but that’s not quite the end of the story.

In 1967, Frank Sinatra was on the verge of packing it in. The FBI was bugging him because of his suspected mob connections. He was punching holes in the wall of his hotel rooms looking for the bugs. His future was uncertain. His brand of crooning was on the way out. The Beatles had just released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which was, is, and always will be the No. 1 influential album of all time in popular music. Creating hits was always a hit-and-miss proposition. What worked in 1966 wouldn’t necessarily fly in 1967. What worked for The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, or Iron Butterfly wouldn’t necessarily work for Sinatra. So, he was on the verge of saying, “Fuck this.”

Anka Composes “My Way”

Paul Anka was already a star by 1967. Along with performers like Frankie Valli, he was a teen idol with songs about young love, the beach, and all the rest of that 1960s subculture. “My Way,” however, broke the mold. It wasn’t Sinatra’s usual shtick. It wasn’t a love song. It wasn’t part of his “Rat Pack” past. Sinatra wasn’t even interested. Anka knocked out the song in about five hours. He didn’t need to compose the music. It was already a French song called “Comme d’habitude.” He wrote the new lyrics and tweaked the music to fit. He called Sinatra and told him that he had written it for him. Sinatra was initially hesitant, but he took the song anyway. Later, he called Anka and sang it for him, reducing the composer to tears.


The song became more than a hit. It became Sinatra’s trump card at any concert he performed, his signature. The song has also had numerous covers. Sid Vicious and The Sex Pistols did a version of it. Vicious’s performance is sarcastic and full of sneers, and he certainly isn’t the singer Sinatra was, but it’s earnest and totally true to who Vicious is. The song transcends who’s singing it. It becomes anyone’s calling card who sings it because each person can truthfully say, “I did it my way.”

Other Media

Aside from all the covers, the song has appeared all over the industry. It’s been in films, television programs, and even commercials. The Giorgio Armani commercial brings the song full circle as it was performed by a French artist named Clara Luciani. The television programs in which it has appeared range from “That 70s Show” to “Supergirl” in style and presentation.


And now the end is here
And so I face that final curtain
My friend I’ll make 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
I did it, 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
I saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much, much more
I did it, 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

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself then he has naught
Not to say the things that he truly feels
And not the words of someone who kneels
Let the record shows I took all the blows and did it my way

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Paul Anka / Gilles Thibaut / Claude Francois / Jacques Revaux / Jacques Revaux Adaptation De Paul Anka

My Way lyrics © Jeune Musique Ed., Barclay Eddie Nouvelles Editions, Chrysalis Standards Inc

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