Singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” banned at karaoke bars due to violence?

The Philippines has seen a steady increase in violence in karaoke bars across the country over the last few years over, of all things, peoples’ renditions of Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way”.  New York Times wondered if “the killings [are] the natural byproduct of the country’s culture of violence, drinking and machismo” or if the song contained “something inherently sinister”.  Whatever the reason, many karaoke bars have taken drastic action and removed the song from the songbooks.  Karaoke bar regulars, in turn, have shunned the song and refuse to sing it for fear of sparking new violence.  Some songwriters have noted that the song’s lyrics imply arrogance almost never observed in the country’s social norms.  Locals, however, point out that Filipinos take karaoke and singing very seriously and are quick to show their displeasure if a person is even slightly off-key.  Read more

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Francis M. Unson

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