My Way...Or the Highway (to Hell)?


As Frank Sinatra songs go, "My Way" has never been one of my favorites. Its message is just so darn arrogant. So you can imagine my dismay when I read a news story out of the UK this week that reports "My Way" has become the most popular secular song performed at funerals. Co-operative Funeralcare, the largest mortuary outfit in Britain, has released a report indicating that traditional hymns are in decline at final send-offs while the use of pop songs is on the rise. Among the odd choices for hailing the deceased include—prepare yourself— "Highway to Hell," "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "You Raise Me Up." But at the top of the list bar none is the Ole Blue Eyes hit from 1969, written for him by Paul Anka.

Perish. The. Thought.

After the jump, let's dig deeper into some of the lyrics.


Regrets, I've had a few;

but then again, too few to mention.

[So much for modesty.]

I did what I had to do

I saw it through without exemption.

[I'm guessing that listening was not one of your strong points.]

Yes, there were times, I guess you knew

when I bit off more than I could chew.

[Didn't mother teach you about small bites? I'll bet you chewed with your mouth open.]

And through it all, when there was doubt,

I ate it up and spit it out.

[Lovely image. So you not only refused to be self-aware, but you also had a spitting habit.]

I faced it all and I stood tall;

And did it my way.

[Apparently, asking others for help was pretty much out of the question?]

For what is a man, what has he got?

if not himself, then he has naught.

[Not really a people person, eh?]

To say the things

he truly feels;

[Didn't your mother teach you if you don't have something nice to say, not to say it at all?]

and not the words of one who kneels.

[That's right! Modesty is overrated!]

The record shows I took the blows

[Not enough to teach you a lesson, apparently.]

and did it my way!

[Bully for you!]

If you think this critique is too harsh, consider apocryphal tale of deposed Serbian president, the late Slobodan Milosevic, says that he loved the song "My Way" so much that he played it over and over again in his jail cell during his war-crimes trial.

If that's not enough to swear you off "My Way," I don't know what is. What do you think? Would you want "My Way" played at your funeral?