The Tambourine.  Why isn’t it extinct yet?

I was in a restaurant/lounge with a friend a few weeks ago that hosts a weekly Karaoke that attracts a mostly older,  (40 and up?) mostly African American crowd with the occasional sprinkling of thirty somethings (us) looking for a respite from the “Call me Maybe” bunch.  Where one could sing Anita Baker-esque songs to their hearts content and not worry  about putting the audience and the KJ to sleep because the song isn’t upbeat, bouncy and current enough. Heck…this crowd is still singing Roberta Flack. At some point in the evening someone was singing an upbeat, albeit not remotely current, song when one of the KJ’s pulled out from the bag of props a few tambourines and passed them around the room.  The patrons were eager and showed no hesitation in their willingness to  participate in this collective noise violation. Surprised, I stopped midsentence and with widened eyes as if I’d just discovered the Lochness Monster I told my friend that I’d never seen a Tambourine occupy space outside of a church building.  This excludes of course grainy 1960s film clips of long haired LSD influenced hippies tambourine-ing to Bob Dylan and the sister girl from the Josie and the Pussy Cats cartoon who secured her spot in the all girl pop music band as “the first regularly appearing female black character in a Saturday morning cartoon show by” playing not one,  but TWO of them!

It was odd…and funny! Exactly what song outside of Hymn#193 warrants such an accompaniment? Even then, who isn’t distracted by that lady in church ( every church has at least one, God forbid there are multiple offenders) who manages to conjure up out of thin air said jaengly contraption when the atmosphere starts to feel all “shouty” –   Thank you ma’am, focus broken. *Sigh* Just pass the offering plate – or when the song is a throwback to GrandMaMa’s days when there were still tent revivals and mourners benches where the tambourine seems to fit.  I’d like to make a motion to my fellow church folks to go ahead and let the church Tambourine retire… Its almost 2013. It’s time.

But why listen to me? I also hate organs and stained glass windows.

I’m sure this guy would disagree.