Much like my love of the Lounge version of “Monterey”, my favorite version of “Droned” is the In Love version. No hate for the Silver version; it just doesn’t pull at the strings of my heart in the same way.
I fell in love with the In Love version shortly after my 16th birthday. My parents bought me an acoustic guitar and a chord sheet and I set about teaching myself how to play in the most analog way possible. A week after my birthday, a severe snowstorm hit that kept us snowed in for 3 weeks and at least 2 of those weeks were without electricity. But I had my Walkman, plenty of batteries and my She’s the Queen cassette. I did not have a tuner for my guitar but I found the high e at a certain part in “Droned” and I would use it to tune off of. I also tried to figure out how to play the song by ear which just ended in disaster.
On those long, cold days, I would put on my headphones and just melt into the guitars and JM’s whispering and longing vocals. I imagined what it would be like to be in love, having not had the experience yet. I think this was the genesis point with my propensity to be in love with being in love. Turns out that this song is a horrible template to use for learning what being in love is like and it has taken me years to figure this out.
JM sings about how he knows when she’s faking it. I wish I had that kind of discernment but the evidence of past relationships shows that I do not. And there always seems to be a “he” who may or may not be away and who determines my place in the relationship. The “he” may not even be an actual person; it could just be whatever golden idol my partner is focused on at the time. I end up staying in these relationships longer than I should. Maybe it’s because I still believe that they are the best thing, easily. Maybe, like JM, I just don’t know how to let go.
If I think that love should be this way, I will draw people to me who will fulfill the role. So now I’m changing my idea of what I think love should be. We will see if it changes the kind of people who are drawn to me or who I am drawn to.