march to (the beat of) a different tune

march to (the beat of) a different tune

To do something or behave in a manner that does not conform to the standard, prevalent, or popular societal norm. My brother's eschewed the idea of a full-time career and has had every oddball job you could think of, but then he's always been happy marching to the beat of a different tune.
See also: beat, different, march, tune
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

march to a different tune


march to a different drummer

If someone marches to a different tune, they behave differently from most people or have different beliefs about what is morally right. Throughout his whole career, Clough marched to a different tune. As a player, Lindner has always marched to a different drummer. Note: You can also say that someone marches to the beat of a different drummer. He is a leader who marches to the beat of quite a different drummer.
See also: different, march, tune
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

march to (the beat of) a different tune (or drum or drummer)

consciously adopt a different approach or attitude to the majority of people; be unconventional. informal
The version with drummer comes ultimately from Henry David Thoreau's Walden ( 1854 ): ‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer’.
1997 New Scientist In formulating his ideas about the composition of the fundamental building blocks of matter…Sternglass has marched to the beat of an entirely different drum.
See also: different, march, tune
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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