Anchor Marco Werman has details on how the song “My Way” has become deadly to sing in Philippine karaoke bars.
Read the Transcript
This text below is a phonetic transcript of a radio story broadcast by PRI’s THE WORLD. It has been created on deadline by a contractor for PRI. The transcript is included here to facilitate internet searches for audio content. Please report any transcribing errors to firstname.lastname@example.org. This transcript may not be in its final form, and it may be updated. Please be aware that the authoritative record of material distributed by PRI’s THE WORLD is the program audio.
MARCO WERMAN: If karaoke is more your style, then this is a song you probably know pretty well. [music] Well maybe not that version. Here, this is probably more familiar. [music] Whatever you think of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, in the Philippines, it can get you killed, that’s if you sing it karaoke style. The New York Times reported about this over the weekend. Karaoke is very popular in the Philippines and people get very passionate about it. Apparently several Filipinos have been killed over the years because of how they sang their version of “My Way”. Popular culture specialist Roland Tolentino, at the University of the Philippines told the BBC the killings are often alcohol related.
ROLAND TOLENTINO: You’d get a lot of drunk men, elderly men, who would go into an argument over another person’s singing of “My Way” and some of these things do lead to very violent endings.
WERMAN: Another problem, according to Tolentino, is that the song emboldens the singers because of its triumph over adversity theme. But in the end, this being karaoke we’re talking about, how you belt out the song matters too.
TOLENTINO: It’s also the singing because “My Way”, at least in the Philippine context, is like the recap song. It’s the last song of the karaoke activity so by that time a lot of elderly men are already drunk and probably emboldened, then would go into fierce arguments and probably pick up guns or something.
WERMAN: Now, try and remain calm everyone, don’t get aggressive. Here’s the Gypsy Kings doing it their way. [music] It’s not the final curtain. The day’s top news stories are next on PRI, Public Radio International.
Copyright ©2009 PRI’s THE WORLD. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to PRI’s THE WORLD. This transcript may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior written permission. For further information, please email The World’s Permissions Coordinator at email@example.com.