Personal Response Based on A Song
‘My Way’ - Frank Sinatra
Based on the task given for the English Language Proficiency 2 course, I chose a song entitled My Way sang by a popular 1960’s singer, Frank Sinatra.
This song originated as a French Song called ‘Comme D’Habitude’ which means ‘As Usual’, written by two composers, Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibault. Calude Francois recorded it in 1967 and it was a hit in some parts of Europe. Paul Anka, who visited France, discovered the song and re-wrote the lyrics as ‘My Way’ and it was sang by Frank Sinatra. The French Version tells a story of a man living the end of his marriage and love, killed by the boredom of everyday life. Meanwhile, the English version tells about a man looking back on life he lived on his own way. This song has been recorded as the most covered song since a lot of famous singers covered it. For example; Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick and Andy Williams, to name a few.
There are a lot of interesting messages beautifully sewn into this evergreen song which has made me impressed with it. First, the title itself conveyed the identity of the song which focused about oneself doing everything in his very own way. The title gave the most precise description for the lyrics of the song. Furthermore, in every stanza, this famous classic kept repeating the verse, ‘I did it my way’ which gave mixed feelings of relation and realization to the audiences everytime. Whenever I felt burdened with too many works and responsibilities, listening to this song would lift me up and made me calm. Simply because this is a song of individuality and aspiration. In addition, I realized that the careful usage of certain words and verses in the song reflected the character of an independent person. Meaning that, a man should always be independent and not dependent on others. Based on the line ‘I’ve lived a life that’s full’, it carried a message that one must also live a beneficial life that would cheer him up. Besides, one of the messages that I got from this song was that we must be responsible for what we have done. This can be derived from this verse; ‘I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way’. This line impressed me the most because, in reality not everyone have the courage to face and solve their own problem.
I managed to discover some similarities and differences between myself and this song. I personally agree that this song encouraged people to be themselves and be confident with what they do. I relate myself to the verse ‘I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption’ by undertaking my tasks and purposes responsibly with much effort. Moreover, I feel connected to this song because it told me about being firm with my stand and faith from the line: ‘I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain’. It made feel confident with myself and of what I’m doing. Apart from that, I think that this song implanted the value of being grateful. This can be seen from the line, ‘Regrets, I’ve had a few, But then again, too few to mention’. Undoubtedly, there are some regrets we happened to have in life. Yet, we have a lot of wonderful things happening in our live that those regrets seemed too few to mention. Therefore, we must be grateful with what we have in our lives. I had always kept in mind to be grateful and thankful and thankful with every blessings and joys that I have.
However, there are some parts of the song which I disagreed and has a slightly different rapport with my life. In my view, I disagreed with the line that says, ‘To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels’. I believed that it is inappropriate to say thing without considering others’ feelings. In addition, ‘Not the words of one who kneels’ gave a meaning that one doesn’t have to follow others in his life and just do everything according to him. It should not be that way because living in a community, we must obey the social contract and laws laid in our lives. In essence, a man should always walk his own path. Furthermore, the repetitions of the line, ‘I did it my way’ seemed a bit narcissistic and selfish. This is supported by Tina, Frank Sinatra’s daughter who was interviewed in BBC show, ‘Hardtalk’. Tina said, “He (Frank Sinatra) always thought that song was self-serving and self-indulgent. He didn’t like it. That song stuck and he couldn’t get it off his shoe”.
According to the composer, he said that this song is about a man looking back fondly, on a life he lived on his own terms. This message can be clearly seen with the repetitions of the line, ‘I did it my way’ and the last line which is, ‘The record shows I took the blows and did it my way.’ An interesting fact about this song; a survey in 2005 by Co-Operative Funeralcare put this song on the list as the most requested song at funerals in United Kingdom. Phil Edwards said, “It has timeless appeal – the words sum up what so many people feel about their lives and how they would like their loved ones to remember them.” It is true that this song has a sentimental value about people appreciating their lives. An essential repertoire for classic shows and simple tune parties, My Way is a bold and beautiful melody, loyally loved by many and has truly lived in a capsule of timelessness.
As a conclusion, a lot of positive messages and moral values can be obtained from this song. ‘ My Way’ is a song which gives hope to live a life to the fullest, come hell or high water. Therefore, I personally feel that this song is the most meaningful song I’ve ever listened to.
Written by : Syafawani Jamil
Edited by : Em Thiwyats