Thursday, February 11, 2010

Karaoke + 60s Lyrics + Arrogance = Fatality

The family maid confirms the story in the newspapers about karaoke joints in the Philippines. You can sing, Fly Me To The Moon (Brenda Lee or Sinatra) , Release Me (Engelbert Humperdinck), and songs by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra or others but don't ever sing one particular tune by Mr Blue Eyes. My Way, a Paul Anka original, could be your last song.
According to the newspapers, even the authorities are uncertain as to the number of people who have gotten into fatal fights after singing this number. One newspaper article reported that at least 6 enthusiasts, who sang this particular composition, groaned their 'swan song'. It has become so serious in the past years that My Way is not on the playbook list. Apparently it has happened in Malaysia and Thailand too where fights occur over microphones, song choice and nerve shatteringly bad vocals!
Roland B. Tolentino, a pop culture expert, at the University of the Philippines commented that since the Philippines is "a very violent society, karaoke triggers what already exists when certain social rules are broken (New York Times)."
Are the lyrics so arrogant that some listeners cannot connect with the words? Below are some choice phrases that might just trigger that anger:
And now, the end is near, And so I face the final curtain.../Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew, /When I bit off more than I could chew... /But through it all, when there was doubt, /I ate it up and spit it out.../I faced it all and I stood tall... /To say the things he truly feels /And not the words of one who kneels. /The record shows I took the blows... (Composition: Paul Anka)
Fatalistic predictions? Do these karaoke brawls occur in sexy Singapore? Comment anyone?
Information: The Straits Times Singapore (World - Regional - February 8th, 2010).
Original article: Andy Lim Collection.


Roger said...

Each one wants to have his way in singing My Way! The title is both funny and "dangerous". The trouble is humans are filled with arrogance and pride.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

But it also depends on the mentality of the singer and his audience? Why would anyone kill for a past time that's supposed to be a pleasant, music experience?

It's all in the mind and culture?
Or is it?