Monday, 3 July 2017

Curses: The Curse of My Way




  The Curse of My Way

Can a classic Frank Sinatra sung tune be cursed?
Many in the Philippines are starting to ask that very question after a series of stabbing deaths in Karaoke bars across the small country.
 Between 2000 and 2010 at least 6 documented cases of fatal stabbings have appeared in the Philippines after, or during a karaoke performance of the classic song.

 The Philippines is one tough place, and to relax it is common place for the locals to have a beer and sing Karaoke, in fact, it’s almost a national pastime it is loved so much, perhaps that lends a little to the explanation for why so many people have murdered during, or after, performing the song, perhaps it’s just a statistical anomaly, or perhaps people love Frank Sinatra so much, they cannot stand his song being butchered by amateurs – I think I’ll go with the first one!
 It is indeed very bizarre that one song seems to attract so much violence towards a simple, much loved past time, but it isn’t the only place where people have died for their singing abilities, or lack thereof.
 A Thai man killed eight of his neighbours after they had sung John Denver's “Country Roads Take Me Home”, the song infuriated the man, and whipped him up into a rage, where he lost control and butchered the eight people....

So what is it in particular that installs such violent reactions about Mr Sinatra’s song?
 The song lyrics were written by another famous singer, Mr Paul Anka, for Frank Sinatra
and set the music of a French composition known as “Comme d'habitude”.

 The song lyrics are about an older gentleman who is reflecting upon his own life as he approaches his own mortality. He reflects about the challenges he faced in his life, and how he didn’t bend to other people’s philosophies, but stayed his course and maintained his integrity.

 Although other people would go on to record the song (including Anka himself), Frank Sinatra’s 1969 released version is considered the quintessential version of the song, and as such is highly respected, and incredibly popular. It has been cited as not only one of the most popular songs on the planet and one of the most covered by other artists...and, one of the most popular Karaoke songs of all time.

So why has performing a song about an old man, close to dying, reflecting on his past, become such an emotionally charged piece in the Philippines?

Could it be to do with the lyrics themselves, which in some ways could be construed as being arrogant and triumphant. In a society that is considerably violent where the males are often out to prove themselves, Karaoke, which in the Philippines is rated and scored upon, is the place to do it. Often bars employ gay men, who are seen as neutral (in other words they won’t steal macho-men's women) to engage in humour or other distraction techniques to stop outbreaks of violence, which can happen as easily as someone laughing, or someone looking “the wrong way” at someone else.

 So, is the song “My Way” cursed, or is it simply a cultural thing?
For me, I’d go with a cultural thing, the curse doesn’t seem to affect many other any other country in the world.
 So, remember, the next time you visit the Philippines and someone wants you to sing “My Way” at a karaoke bar...go with something a little less offensive, maybe some Steel Panther “What are girls for”?

Researched and written By Allen Tiller 2013
previously unpublished
 © 2017 Allen Tiller, Eidolon Paranormal

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