In karaoke bars around the world, few songs are belted out with more relish and enthusiasm than the Frank Sinatra standard "My Way". Except, that is, in the Philippines.
After a series of killings connected with renditions of the song, most karaoke fans will not now allow themselves to croon "And now, the end is near, And so I face, the final curtain" – for fear the lines might come true. Such has been the publicity surrounding the murders – local media have recorded at least six in the past decade – that they are now dealt with in their own sub-category of crime, the "My Way killings".
"I used to like 'My Way', but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it," Rodolfo Gregorio, a keen karaoke fan, told The New York Times. "You can get killed."
Filipinos have different theories about what has led to the killings, in a country where karaoke bars are commonplace. Mr Gregorio proffered: "The trouble with 'My Way' is that everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion." But others point out that there are other, similarly well-known songs that have not attracted a violent backlash.
In the absence of anything else, some find themselves poring over the lyrics, written for Sinatra by Paul Anka, in a search for clues.
Butch Albarracin, owner of a singing school in Manila called Centre of Pop, said: "I did it my way – it's so arrogant. 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."