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.
You know, unless it’s playing some baroque fugue (you know, like the eery one that goes ‘duh-na nuhhhhh, deedle-leedlely boop duhhh…duh-na nuhhhhh, doo dee da duhh’)I’m not a big fan of organs either and don’t understand why anyone prefers to hear hymns on them. And though I loathed tambourines
-and my childhood church’s rendition of Sweet hour of prayer (since we’re airing what we don’t like), I now appreciate them for the communal spirit it permits, the very feature that represents the vivaciousness of our music and culture.
I am so very tickled at your “deedle-leedlely boop duhhh” What the heck?! Lol!
Oh wait! I read it again fast, now I think I recognize that Fugue! And deedle-leedlely boop duhhh is quite accurate!
I’d like to protest the identification of the 40 and up crowd as “mostly older.”
Well said and articulated… 😉
I said oldER not OLD, there is a difference. It was kind of a “catch all” place for 40 and up. Pretty sure I saw someone’s grand dad in there.