I was somewhat surprised to read about karaoke-associated killings in a recent New York Times article. Focusing on incidents in the Philippines, the report detailed the violence (often alcohol fueled) that disputes about air time or song quality might provoke. Most interestingly, it referred to at least half a dozen homicides sparked by a specific Sinatra song and dubbed the “My Way Killings.”
There follows a very good analysis of the plausible explanations for this association: is it simply over-reported, a byproduct of the “urban myth” status the phenomenon has attained? Or is it attributable to exposure, with more incidents happening during “My Way” just because it is frequently performed? Finally, the report muses on the possibility that the song itself is somehow provocative. He quotes one Filipino:
The lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights.
Something to consider, I guess.
Personally, I don’t need yet another excuse to avoid karaoke. I already do so at all costs (to no one’s disappointment, I assure you).