My Way by Claude Francois
Arranged for Woodwind Quintet by Wim Bex
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon
Score and parts
“My Way” is a song made popular in 1969 by singer Frank Sinatra. It was set to the music of a French song “Comme d’habitude” (As Usual) written in 1967 by Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux. The story goes that singer/songwriter Paul Anka heard Claude Francois perform the song in 1967, and obtained the rights to adapt, record and publish the song subject to the provision that the song’s composers would retain their original share of royalty rights with respect to whatever versions Anka or his designates created or produced. Some time later Anka had dinner with Frank Sinatra, and Sinatra complained that he was tired of the entertainment business and was going to “get out of it”. Anka subsequently went to work on altering the French version of the song and giving it totally new lyrics in English – using the “mob talk” that Sinatra liked to use.
In 1968 Frank Sinatra recorded “his” version of the song, and it subsequently became known as his “signature song”, although he supposedly came to hate it in later years.