Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Different Drummers

Can you like two versions of the same song? This entry from  November 27, 2013 asks that question!
My last entry was about perspective and how different individuals from different backgrounds and particularly of different genders see the world, as we might guess, differently.  In fact, the same words coming from another's lips can have radically different meanings. Take for instance the huge hit from Linda Ronstadt, Different Drum. It's a romantic break up song with the topic being a relationship which never really launched. I always liked her version and almost everything else she sang at least in part due to her stunning beauty. She seemed almost apologetic to her would be suitor as she gently breaks it to him that there is no future as a couple. I listened to it over and over as a kid.

The original of Different Drum was much different from the more famous and polished Ronstadt version. The song was penned by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees as a country/bluegrass number from the perspective of a guy who wanted to run around to a girl who wanted to settle down. It's whimsical versus dramatic and male centric versus female centric when contrasted to the Ronstadt styling. Nesmith's original also contains a verse Linda's omits:
Well I feel pretty sure
That you'll find a man
Who will take a lot more than I ever could or can
And you'll settle down with him
And I know that you'll be happy

In all honesty, I much prefer the Linda Ronstadt Different Drum 0ver the Michael Nesmith translation of the song he penned. I think we tend to embrace what first penetrates our consciousness and subsequent interpretations seem strange and unnatural. One of the blessings of teaching the Bible is that I get to give kids a chance to look at things in a new way. So many students have never really read the Bible before. Many of them have heard things about the Scriptures but have never actually explored the Word themselves. Some have been told things but have no first hand experience of studying. For some, the context of the stories and quotations changes their point of view. Maybe my job is to be kind of like a Bible deejay. You know, expose them to thoughts and ideas and stories they've never heard before and do it in a way that piques their interest. Most of my students know Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You but have never heard Dolly Parton's initial recording, a tribute she wrote to country singe Porter Waggoner. But they can appreciate the way both legendary voices put their own identifiable stamp on  their croonings. Kind of like Linda and Michael. Or Samson and Delilah. Or me and you.

To hear Linda's version, click here! 
To hear Michael's version, click here! 

Applicable quote of the day:
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

God bless,
Luke 18:1
me at

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