This originated as the French song called "Comme D'Habitude" (translation: "As Usual"), written by the composers Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibault. They took it to the French pop star Claude Francois, who tweaked it a bit (earning a co-writer credit) and recorded the song in 1967, where it was a hit in parts of Europe. The French version tells the story of a man, living out the end of his marriage, love killed by the boredom of everyday life.
Paul Anka discovered this song while visiting France and re-wrote the lyrics as "My Way" when he returned to New York. Anka says it was 3 a.m. on a rainy night when the words came to him. Anka, who was a very popular singer, pitched the song to Frank Sinatra, who recorded it on December 30, 1968. Anka's lyrics changed the meaning to be about a man looking back fondly on a life he lived on his own terms, and Sinatra's version became one of his signature songs.