Fatal. At least in the Philippines.
In 2007, 29 year-old Romi Baligula learned this the hard way. He took to a karaoke machine in a bar in San Mateo, Philippines, and began singing My Way, his way. His way, unfortunately, was out of tune, and 43 year-old security guard Robilito Ortego took exception, demanding that Baligula stop signing. Baligula ignored Ortega’s warning; Ortego took out his pistol and shot Baligula in the chest, killing him instantly.
Incredibly, this is not the only known murder involving My Way and a karaoke bar in the Philippines. According to the New York Times, news agencies in the Philippines know of at least a half-dozen such attacks since 2000, going so far as to dub the trend “My Way Killings.” The exact number of assaults — fatal or otherwise — is unknown, but the effect is real.
What’s causing the aggression? A mix of theories abound, but no answers. Some believe it to be mere coincidence; a popular song in an environment with a lot of machismo, violence, and illegal weapons. Others think that My Way‘s lyrics – which deal with death and reflections upon a life of triumph — themselves have unique potential to enrage the listener. Regardless, many karaoke bars in the nation no longer offer the song, and those that do find a customer-base which engages in self-censorship, to avoid potential harm from a displeased fellow patron in the audience.
Bonus fact: Frank Sinatra never missed an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, according to Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the show. Brent Spiner, who played the android Data on the show, later recorded a tribute album to Sinatra, titled Ol’ Yellow Eyes is Back. The album’s title is a reference to Sinatra’s album Ol’ Blue Eyes is Backand Data’s yellow eyes from the show.
Related: Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank, by Barbara Sinatra, Frank’s widow. It is upcoming, to be released on May 31st as a hardcover, on Kindle, and as an audio book. Also, new copies of Ol’ Yellow Eyes is Back are a collectible among Star Trek fans, running over $250.