Claude François -Comme d’habitude

Click on the link for the song:

Do you recognize the tune ?
Below are the words in French with the translation but, at the end, read about the connection to Frank Sinatra !

Comme D’Habitude

Je me lève et je te bouscule
Tu ne te réveilles pas comme d’habitude
Sur toi je remonte le drap
J’ai peur que tu aies froid comme d’habitude
Ma main caresse tes cheveux
Presque malgré moi comme d’habitude
Mais toi tu me tournes le dos
Comme d’habitude

Alors je m’habille très vite
Je sors de la chambre comme d’habitude
Tout seul je bois mon café
Je suis en retard comme d’habitude
Sans bruit je quitte la maison
Tout est gris dehors comme d’habitude
J’ai froid, je relève mon col
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude, toute la journée
Je vais jouer à faire semblant
Comme d’habitude je vais sourire
Comme d’habitude je vais même rire
Comme d’habitude, enfin je vais vivre
Comme d’habitude

Et puis le jour s’en ira
Moi je reviendrai comme d’habitude
Toi, tu seras sortie
Pas encore rentrée comme d’habitude
Tout seul j’irai me coucher
Dans ce grand lit froid comme d’habitude
Mes larmes, je les cacherai
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude, même la nuit
Je vais jouer à faire semblant
Comme d’habitude tu rentreras
Comme d’habitude je t’attendrai
Comme d’habitude tu me souriras
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude tu te déshabilleras
Comme d’habitude tu te coucheras
Comme d’habitude on s’embrassera
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude on fera semblant
Comme d’habitude on fera l’amour
Comme d’habitude on fera semblant

Translation : As usual

I get out of bed and I bump into you
It doesn’t wake you up, as usual
I pull the sheet up over you
Afraid you might be cold, as usual
My hand strokes your hair
Almost unwillingly,as usual
But you, you turn your back on me, as usual
And then I dress up quickly
I get out of the room, as usual
All on my own, I drink my coffee
I’m late at work, as usual
Without a noise I leave the house
It’s all grey outside, as usual
I’m cold, I turn up my collar, as usual

As usual, all day long
Like it’s a game
I’ll be pretending, as usual
I’ll be smiling, yeah, as usual
I’ll even be laughing, as usual
I’ll live at last, yeah, as usual
And then, day will go
But I’ll come back, as usual
You, you’ll be out already
Not home yet, as usual
All on my own, I’ll go to sleep
In this big cold bed, as usual
My tears, I will cover, as usual

As usual, even at night
Like it’s a game
I’ll be pretending, as usual
You’ll come back home, as usual
I’ll be waiting, as usual
You’ll be smiling at me, yeah, as usual
As usual

As usual, you’ll get undressed,
As usual, you’ll go to bed, 
Yeah, as usual, we’ll kiss, 
As usual

As usual, we will pretend
Yeah, as usual, we’ll make love
Yeah, as usual, we will pretend
Yeah, as usual..

Claude François

My Way – The Story Behind the Song
by Dominic Utton

My Way started life as a rather gloomy number called Comme d’Habitude (As Usual) by French singer Claude Francois.

In 1967 his tune about the end of a love affair reached number one in France but took a rather different lyrical tone from its later reincarnation.

From the opening line, “I get up, I shake you – you don’t wake up as usual”, to the closing cry, “We will make love as usual, we will fake it as usual”, the song has little in common with My Way other than the melody.

But that was enough for Canadian singer Paul Anka. The 27-year-old crooner was a star himself thanks to hits such as Diana and It’s Time To Cry and he later said that after hearing Comme d’Habitude while on holiday in the Riviera: “It was a s*** song but I felt there was something different in it.”

He approached Francois and co-writer Jacques Reveaux and acquired the rights for free.

Back in New York, however, Anka couldn’t find the inspiration he needed to make something of the tune until one day he received a phone call from Frank Sinatra. The pair went out to dinner and Frank dropped a bombshell.

“He says, ‘I’m quitting the business. I’m sick of it, I’m getting the hell out’,” remembers Anka. “He says to me, ‘You have to write me something. You’ve promised for years to write me something.’ And I remembered this melody and was very motivated with him telling me he was retiring so I went home and sat at my typewriter and started to write the song as if Sinatra were writing it.”

Anka put himself into Sinatra’s shoes – if he was to write Sinatra’s defining song he wanted to make sure he captured the spirit of the man even down to the way he talked.

“I used words I would never use: ‘I ate it up and spit it out’ – but that’s the way he talked. The Rat Pack guys, they liked to talk like mob guys.

“So I started typing: ‘And now the end is near…’ and it wrote itself from there. At five o’clock in the morning I called Frank and said ‘I have something special for your last album’.”

Anka flew to Las Vegas and sang his new version to Sinatra. No longer an ode to failing love, in one night he had transformed it into a swaggering, powerful cry of defiance.

Sinatra’s reaction was typically cool. “He just gave me that wink he had,” remembers Anka. “Then two months later I get a call from him.

He says: ‘Kid, listen to this,’ puts the phone to a speaker and that was the first time I heard Frank sing my song.”

The impact was immediate but not all favourable. While the critics and public went wild for My Way, Anka’s record company were furious that he had passed on his masterpiece. “I said hey, I can write it but I’m not the guy to sing it. It was for Frank, no one else.”

Anka was right. My Way’s success was not only down to the lyrics and the melody it was down to the man who first sang it.

My Way was not simply the perfect swansong it was the perfect swansong for Frank Sinatra. By 1969 he had been in the business for more than 30 years and had already been declared a has-been twice – once in the Fifties by the rock ’n’ rollers and again in the late Sixties by The Beatles and hippies.

W hen My Way came out the former boxer, bobby-soxer, crooner, film star, Rat Pack leader and rumoured mobster had seen it all, done it all and didn’t care who knew it.

Only Sinatra could have pulled off the swagger necessary to give the song its full power. Only he had the moral authority to deliver the line: “The record shows I took the blows and did it my way.”

However, Sinatra’s unique moral authority hasn’t exactly been recognised by the rest of the singing world. Paul Anka might have known he was the only guy to sing it but over the past 40 years that hasn’t stopped just about everyone else having a go.

The first cover version was by Welsh singer Dorothy Squires in 1970 while the original was still in the charts. Seven years later Elvis Presley took it into the charts shortly before he died and a year after that the Sex Pistols released the most infamous version, with Sid Vicious on vocals.

In typically anarchic style Vicious forgot many of the lyrics and replaced them with improvised words of his own. In his version Anka’s existential crescendo: “For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself…” becomes the more prosaic: “For what is a prat, what has he got, when he wears hats…”

Nor do the hundreds of versions already recorded deter modern musicians from having a shot. Celine Dion, G4, Il Divo, Michael Bublé and even Robbie Williams have all tried their hand at My Way and it has become a staple of karaokes, funerals and retirement parties everywhere.

When German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder stepped down in 2005, more than seven million TV viewers watched tears well up in his eyes as a military band saw him off with a version of My Way.

The song is also said to have been a favourite of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic – he would play it in his cell at increasingly loud volumes during his trial for crimes against humanity in 2002.

In 2005 a survey by Co-Operative Funeralcare put My Way at the top of songs most requested at funerals. Spokesman Phil Edwards says: “It has that timeless appeal – the words sum up what so many people feel about their lives and how they would like their loved ones to remember them.”

Meanwhile in the Philippines My Way is so popular at karaoke bars that it has been declared responsible for a number of deaths where arguments over performances degenerated into violence.

After a man was shot dead in a bar near Manila in 2007 for singing My Way out of tune many bars have removed it from their playlists.

According to a recent article in the Asia Times: “The song is so popular and singing it is taken so seriously that dozens have died because of My Way.

Perhaps someone laughed while a buddy was singing during a drinking spree, or someone didn’t like the way the guy at the other table clapped after he tried to imitate Frank.”

But perhaps the strangest twist in the story of My Way is that the man who immortalised the song grew to hate it.

Although Sinatra did briefly retire in 1971 he was ­persuaded to make numerous comebacks and with each one My Way became more of a burden to sing.

During a gig at the Albert Hall in 1984 Frank was heard to mutter under the rapturous applause that met the soaring final chords: “I can’t stand the song myself.”

When he died in 1998 he chose not to follow the millions who had used My Way as their epitaph.

Inscribed on his tomb instead is the title of an earlier hit: The Best Is Yet To Come.