Tuesday, December 9, 2008
An ode to a song.
We Filipinos had the distinction although self-awarded, not surprisingly, of being a people who will, at the drop of a hat, or even for no reason at all, break into songs.
Music thus, for those who equate national identity with something innate, is in our blood.
But so does murder or homicide.
“And what?” you might add.
Ok, ok! Let me tell you about Filipinos penchant for our second national anthem - “My Way”.
You see, the Philippines has earned the distinction – this time confirmed in what is developing into a world authority on almost all matters, the Wikipedia, as being the country where “...it has been reported to cause numerous incidents of violence and homicides among drunkards in bars...”
A recent example of which is the news about the killing of an irate security guard who couldn’t stand the off-key singing of the song My Way, and the way the singer wouldn’t listen to him who wanted it HIS way.
I have even read about a group of film students from Denmark who were in the country to do a documentary of those who had fallen to the murderous charms or compulsions of this song.
I think little of you know that the song "My Way" starts as a French song’s melody, whose publishing rights were bought, altered, restructured and given English lyrics.
The person to do this was singer Paul Anka, who is a Canadian from Ottawa and has a street named after him there. He is among those Canadians who make it big outside Canada and so does Celine Dion, Michael Buble, and others – before Canadians would hear of them.
Paul Anka then gave the rewritten song to Frank Sinatra, who, as Paul Anka relates, was planning to quit show business at that time. Sinatra recorded it in 1969 on an album with the same title and, as they say, the rest is history.
Still, thinking about it, “My Way” is somewhat an appropriate Philippine anthem.
And why don't we give it some thought as we shuffle towards the exit door of 2008 and stumble into 2009?
Perhaps, just possibly, alternately laugh and cry as we do so.