The Song Trump Played During His Final Departure Has People Talking

At 9 a.m. Eastern time this morning, the 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump left the oval office, officially ending his term. He left in an Air Force One plane — already an unusual choice of vehicle for the occasion, as the transition of power is usually commemorated by the previous president leaving in a non-Air Force One-affiliated plane (via CNN). The choice of song for the occasion had CNN anchors amused — Frank Sinatra's "My Way," which of course builds to the lyric, "And more, much more than this, I did it my way" (via Yahoo!).


One of the anchors calls the choice "surreal — perhaps surreally appropriate," and another jokes, "What's wrong with 'Gloria?'" referencing a video in which the Trump family appears to be dancing to Laura Branigan's 1982 hit song "Gloria" while watching the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, laughing and celebrating — a theory that has since been disproven (via Reuters).

How would Sinatra feel about the choice?

Yahoo! calls the song choice "on the nose," The Guardian calls it "painfully fitting," and Deadline calls it "inevitable." However, if Sinatra had his way, the song probably wouldn't be associated with the 45th at all, though Trump very publicly used the tune before at his inaugural ball (via Slate). In 2020, Mia Farrow, who was briefly married to Sinatra, tweeted, "Frank Sinatra would have loathed Donald Trump." Sinatra's daughter Nancy Sinatra weighed in, "He actually did loathe him."


Nancy Sinatra also added in 2017, after the song was chosen for the inaugural ball, "Just remember the first line of the song" (via the Independent). The line in question: "And now the end is near."

Other song selections during the event included "Macho Man" and "YMCA" by the Village People, "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" by Elton John, and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson (via The Wrap).

Sinatra thought My Way was self-indulgent

Frank Sinatra may have been doubly upset by the very public association of the song "My Way" with the 45th president's career, marking the start and end of his term. Because not only did Sinatra dislike the man — he also disliked the song. As another of his daughters, Tina Sinatra, told BBC News in 2000, decades before Frank's opinion of the song could be taken as a political statement one way or another, he "loathed" the tune — apparently he was big on loathing. 


"He always thought that song was self-serving and self-indulgent," Tina Sinatra explained. "He didn't like it. That song stuck and he couldn't get it off his shoe." 

We also have Frank Sinatra's hatred of the song professed first-hand by the man himself (via The Wall Street Journal). He once said at Caesars Palace, "I hate this song — you sing it for eight years, you would hate it too!" He later added in Atlantic City, "I hate this song. I HATE THIS SONG! I got it up to here [with] this God damned song!" As if all that weren't clear enough, he even once intro'ed the song at the L.A. Ampitheater with, "And of course, the time comes now for the torturous moment — not for you, but for me."


Now, more than two decades after his death, "My Way" is still the Sinatra song we're talking about, much to the ghost of Sinatra's chagrin presumably.

Social media reacts to Trump's song choice

The Twitter-sphere erupted with comments about the song choice. Author and CNN commentator Keith Boykin captioned the shot of Trump leaving to "My Way" with, "This series finale of the Trump Reality Show has been written, directed and produced by Donald Trump himself." Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway tweeted, "The 'My Way' soundtrack couldn't be more comical." Twitter personality Kenny BooYah! posted, "Priceless to hear the CNN crew laughing at trump flying away with Sinatra's 'My Way' blaring in the background. The last act of the circus." Former Member of Parliament in the U.K. Anna Soubry tweeted, "Utterly surreal. #Trump takes off to "My Way" @CNN & the world collapses in disbelieving laughter."


Meanwhile CNN anchor Don Lemon, who has been insulted by the former president on Twitter in the past and who was very moved when the Biden/Harris ticket won the election, was struck by another of the former president's song choices. He tweeted, "A one term, twice impeached President who incited a racist insurrection on our Capitol boarded Air Force and left DC with The Village People singing YMCA. In the background. Yes, we watched that happen."