Connect with us


Why Paul Anka Gave ‘My Way’ to Frank Sinatra



Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” is one of the most moving ballads in the history of pop music. Notably, the tune was penned by songwriter extraordinaire Paul Anka. Subsequently, Anka explained why he gave the tune to Ol’ Blue Eyes.

Paul Anka based Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ on a French song about a boring relationship

“My Way” is based on a French song called “Comme d’habitude,” which means “As Usual.” “Comme d’habitude” is about a couple falling out of love because their relationship become mundane. In his 2013 book My Way: An Autobiography, Anka said the song was average and stereotypically French, but he was intrigued by its melody. He negotiated the rights to the song and wrote new lyrics for it. He gave the track to Sinatra instead of keeping it for himself. 

Anka explained this decision. “Hanging out with Sinatra and knowing what he was about, the song came out of that,” he said. “Everything in that song is him. I loved him. I could never have set it up as he did. It was written for Sinatra and it went to him first — no one else heard it.”

Paul Anka felt singing the song instead of giving it to Frank Sinatra would be egoistic

Anka’s choice to give Sinatra “My Way” proved controversial. “I was with RCA at the time and when they caught wind that I’d given the song to Frank they were furious,” he recalled. “‘Why don’t you keep it for yourself?’ they asked me. ‘Hold it!’ I told them. 

“‘Forget the ego thing and forget the money and the guarantees, forget everything — none of that stuff means anything here,’” Anka told them. “‘The old rules don’t apply. The song has to be treated as if it were a person in a sense, and that person was Sinatra.’” 


Anka dismissed the idea of performing “My Way.” “There was never any question of singing it myself,” he remembered. “I couldn’t have pulled it off. The song wouldn’t have had anywhere near the impact that Sinatra gave it.”

Paul Anka did sing ‘My Way’ and so did everyone else under the sun

Regardless of Anka’s comments in his book, he did record “My Way.” His version is faithful to Sinatra’s version. He also recorded a version of the track with fellow crooners Michael Bublé and Andrea Bocelli. While Anka had quite a few hits on the Billboard Hot 100, none of his versions of “My Way” ever charted.

While “My Way” was designed for Sinatra, it became a standard. Aside from Anka, other singers who put their spin on the track include Elvis Presley, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, Celine Dion, Miley Cyrus, and cartoon-star-turned-singer Seth MacFarlane. In his autobiography, Anka said he didn’t like any of the covers except for Vicious’, which he felt starts out amusing before becoming poignant. While this wasn’t Anka’s intent, many vocalists recontextualized the tune in their own lives.

While many artists covered “My Way,” no singer definitively claimed it as Sinatra did.

Source: Cheat Sheet


Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates