A-to-Z Challenge 2023 – F is for Frank Sinatra – Resilience in Songs #atozchallenge #songs

The 2023 A-to-Z blogging challenge theme is resilience. Resilience is the ability to get back on our feet and keep going after life knocks us down and kicks sand in our faces. Resilience is how the psyche survives and copes, but resilience doesn’t necessarily wear a cape of positivity.

The 26 songs I’ve chosen show us, musically, what resilience looks (sounds?) like. I’ll offer a reflection of the resilience in each song. The songs are alphabetical by the artist’s first name or the group’s name, except for M, O, U, and X.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter F

F is for Frank Sinatra and My Way.

figure, person, stick

The tune to My Way is actually that of a French song Comme d’habitude (‘As Usual’) by Jacques Revaux and Claude François (1967). Paul Anka wrote English lyrics to the tune specifically for Frank Sinatra, who released the song in March 1969.

My Way is a song about living life according to your own heart and never giving up. You take what life throws at you. You get back on your feet when life knocks you down. You do what you have to do to keep going.

This song is a look at resilience in retrospect as the narrator is at the end of his life. The narrator is at peace as he faces the final curtain. He tells his friend (spouse? partner? son? daughter? grandchild?) he’s lived a life that’s full. You hear the pride in those words. His regrets are too few to mention. In fact, he finds some of them amusing to think about.

He impresses upon his friend that he lived and laughed and cried. Even when he bit off more than he could chew, he didn’t kneel to criticism, failure, disappointment, or disapproval. He didn’t give up. When his plate of doubt was full, he ate it up and spit it out. He faced it all and stood tall. He’s proud to think he did all that.

This line is the heart and soul of this song as an anthem of resilience.

The record shows I took the blows and did it my way.

This is a powerful statement. It reminds me of these lines from William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus.

My head is bloody, but unbowed…
I am the master of my fate…
I am the captain of my soul.

One last comment, the term ‘man’ isn’t necessarily gender specific. It’s an ‘every person’ word in this song.

My Way is the second of the seven resilience anthems I’m sharing this month.

*Image- stick figure: Clker-free-vector

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer
writing through history one romance upon a time


  1. This song has been helpful to me through my life. I didn’t know that the tune was French or that Paul Anka wrote the words for Sinatra. Thanks! I liked learning that.

  2. This is one of those songs I knew of but never knew the history of or who originally sang it. Very powerful especially with the band accompaniment at the end. Instead of a sad end of life ballad, there’s triumph. The last hurrah of a well-lived life.
    Great A-to-Z theme, by the way.

    1. I wasn’t fond of other singer’s rendition of “My Way”, because his persona is so associated with this song, that it’s difficult to separate song from artist. I say “wasn’t” until I heard Celine Dion sing “My Way”. She does it justice. 🙂

  3. When Mary and I went to meet with the priest before we got married, he went off on a rant about that song. “You’re not supposed to do it your way, you’re supposed to do it God’s way!” As if it were impossible that “your way” was “God’s way.”

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