Eddy McManus’s cover of “Different Drum” is a true masterpiece. Originally written by Mike Nesmith in 1965 and first recorded by the Greenbriar Boys, the song gained popularity in 1967 when it was recorded by the Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt. Their version reached the top 15 of various music charts and also had success in New Zealand, reaching the top 5. In 1972, Nesmith recorded his own version of the song, and since then it has been covered by a variety of artists.
“Different Drum” tells the story of a pair of lovers, one of whom wants to settle down while the other wants to maintain their freedom and independence. The lyrics, “You and I travel to the beat of a different drum/Oh, can’t you tell by the way I run/Every time you make eyes at me? Whoa/You cry and moan and say it will work out/But honey child I’ve got my doubts/You can’t see the forest for the trees,” capture the tension and conflict within the relationship. The singer ultimately decides to end the relationship, stating, “So, goodbye, I’ll be leavin’/I see no sense in this cryin’ and grievin’/We’ll both live a lot longer if you live without me.”
Eddy McManus’s version of “Different Drum” is truly impressive. His powerful and expressive voice brings new life to the classic song, and he is able to connect with the audience in a way that few other artists can. His emotive delivery of the lyrics, “So, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I knock it/It’s just that I am not in the market/For a boy who wants to love only me/Yes, and I ain’t sayin’ you ain’t pretty/All I’m saying’s I’m not ready for any person/Place or thing to try and pull the reins in on me, so/Goodbye, I’ll be leavin’/I see no sense in this cryin’ and grievin’/We’ll both live a lot longer if you live without me,” is particularly noteworthy, as he conveys the pain and frustration of the situation with raw honesty and sincerity.
Overall, Eddy McManus’s version of “Different Drum” is a must-hear for any fan of the original or of great covers in general. His powerful and emotive performance elevates the song to new heights, making it a truly memorable and powerful listening experience.