Music Monday: Different Drum by Linda Ronstadt

Is there any woman in the last century of music who comes close to Linda Ronstadt with her vocal versatility? She may not be known as a singer songwriter, but she could cover a song, make it her own, and make you forget about the original. She could sing everything: rock, pop, country, bluegrass, traditional Mariachi music, operetta and own it. And, by own it, I mean that she could sing it with its original intent but in her own style and very much in her own voice.

I found it devastating to learn years ago that Parkinson’s disease silenced her exquisite voice in 2013. I cannot imagine how frustrating and sad it must be to not be able to sing when you had one of the finest voices ever.

“Different Drum” was written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees fame and is an original by Linda Ronstadt, not a cover. I’ve heard others sing it, but no one has that power and that drive. It’s not an easy song to sing. At its up tempo the words are just spilling out, which means it’s sung fast and powerfully. But Ronstadt, oh, what a voice and she makes it all look so easy.

Do you have a favorite Linda Ronstadt song that’s not “Different Drum?” Let me know. I love several others. 🙂

You and I travel to the beat of a diff’rent drum.

Oh, can’t you tell by the way I run

Ev’ry time you make eyes at me. Wo oh.

You cry and you moan and say it will work out.

But honey child I’ve got my doubts.

You can’t see the forest for the trees.

Songwriters: Michael Nesmith

This YouTube version is live and seems a bit jauntier and slower than her usual.

Here’s the album version, which sounds better, but the previous is in no way bad!

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