The tambourine is a percussion instrument that has been around since ancient times but have made their way to mainstream music. The tambourine knows no bounds, traversing genres from gospel to jazz, pop to samba, and everything in between.
We present to you 20 songs with a tambourine to make your listening experience better. Set your playlist, plug your earphones in, and get ready for a musical adventure.
- 1. “Got To Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles
- 2. “After Midnight” by J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
- 3. “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees
- 4. “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers
- 5. “She’s Waiting” by Eric Clapton
- 6. “Wheels” by The Foo Fighters
- 7. “Radar Love” by Golden Earring
- 8. “Pictures Of You” by The Cure
- 9. “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry
- 10. “Help Me, Rhonda” by The Beach Boys
- 11. “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond
- 12. “With Or Without You” by U2
- 13. “Shake Your Tambourine” by the Neville Brothers
- 14. “Play With Fire” by the Rolling Stones
- 15. “Dance To The Music” by Sly And The Family Stone
- 16. “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind
- 17. “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals
- 18. “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
- 19. “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” by The Beatles
- 20. “I Can’t Explain” by The Who
- Final Thoughts
1. “Got To Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles
This feel-good and breezy song from The Beatles has the tambourine playing from the get-go. It is a melody about meeting the love of your life by surprise. The atmosphere of the tune is so dreamy you would want to fall in love too.
2. “After Midnight” by J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
This blues-rock number has a tambourine in its ensemble. The tune is a lot of fun, thanks to the various sounds featured. Besides the tambourine, the guitar work is on point and very catchy. The danceable rhythm pushes listeners to grove to the beat, perfect for outdoor parties.
3. “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees
This mellow and sweet song has the tambourine in its repertoire. This pop song is on the list as one of the top songs of The Monkees because the tune is great to listen to any time and anywhere.
4. “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers
Lemon Pipers’ psychedelic masterpiece, the biggest hit they’ve ever known. Unique and in a league of its own, this mellow melody delights with lead vocals harmonizing with tambourine magic.
5. “She’s Waiting” by Eric Clapton
Paying attention to the song’s opening, the tambourine sound is distinguishable. The tune is about moving on from a past relationship whereby a lady is said to be waiting to try her luck again in life. She is on the lookout for the perfect opportunity and once it presents itself, there will be no stopping her.
6. “Wheels” by The Foo Fighters
You will encounter a lot of circumstances in life and sometimes you will find yourself at the bottom. However, don’t lose hope and endure as this is the message of the song. As you listen intently, the tambourine sounds add to the flavor to this self-reflection number.
7. “Radar Love” by Golden Earring
With its chart-topping success, this rock anthem opens with a tambourine’s catchy beat. This record earned lots of love worldwide, making it a memorable piece for the band.
8. “Pictures Of You” by The Cure
This song that talks about the memories of a past love. The narrator expresses his sincere feelings and the lyrics imply that he misses his former lover.
The relationship means a lot to him, and memories just flood his mind. Together with the strong guitar, the beats of the tambourine also resonate in this number and give the song a more dramatic feel.
9. “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry
This 1988 number by the Swedish songstress Neneh Cherry peaked on the Billboards and UK singles charts. It is a great debut song and is a mix of freestyle, hip hop, and dance styles.
The sound of the tambourine adds a refreshing quality to this hip number and is something people in the club would be grooving in. Whenever you organize a retro party, don’t forget to put this on the playlist.
10. “Help Me, Rhonda” by The Beach Boys
Help Me Rhonda has an interesting backstory – it originally had two versions. One uses the guitar and the other version that plays the ukelele.
The Beach Boys chose the guitar version for their official use. the tambourine emerges, infusing this pop-rock classic with a refreshing melody.
11. “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond
This track showcases the many talents of Neil Diamond as he has written, composed, and performed this tune. Talk about being well-rounded and talented! Neil is all that and more.
In the song, the sound of the tambourine escalates. As the chorus lines play, the sounds become obvious and present an intensity that gives this record extra charm. Fans could not help but agree that this piece is very memorable and enjoyable.
12. “With Or Without You” by U2
The band U2 is known worldwide for its music and this beautifully haunting tune is one of them. The track has the tambourine softly playing in the background while the lyrics talk of intense feelings about a love that meets its poignant end.
The protagonist mourns the loss but is determined to pick himself up together. The story behind these mixed feelings is about the songwriter’s dilemma.
13. “Shake Your Tambourine” by the Neville Brothers
This catchy tune features the tambourine throughout. The whole number is a mix of catchy sounds that will make the crowd go wild.
It is an energetic dance tune that is recommended for huge gatherings. If you want to have an outdoor event, pick this tune as a theme. Ask the guest to bring a tambourine and play it throughout the party while dancing and add to the fun!
14. “Play With Fire” by the Rolling Stones
Play With Fire talks about a sheltered lady drawn to someone beyond her reach. Despite the warning, her desire lingers, igniting a captivating story of forbidden attraction.
The intensity of the song starts to grow in the first few lines and the drama gets more intense as the tambourine sound plays in the background. Honestly, if you get a chance to meet the Rolling Stones, would you mind playing with fire?
15. “Dance To The Music” by Sly And The Family Stone
The energy of this song is brought to another level by the tambourine. This record has a simple message – it encourages everyone to dance. So give in to the invitation and move without worry because you know you want to.
16. “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind
This tune talks about a person who is having a hard time. However, instead of feeling sorry for himself, he is encouraged to be brave. The inclusion of the tambourine in the chorus makes it worth a listen.
17. “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals
The opening part of the song has a tambourine sound making it very catchy. The track narrates a sweet love story, where the lady joyfully accepts the marriage proposal and receives a well-deserved kiss in the end.
18. “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
This 1970s song is a short baroque pop song and the tingling of the tambourine in the first seconds gives the tune a charming vibe. The song was written for The Partridge Family, a musical sitcom broadcasted on television.
19. “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” by The Beatles
This folk-rock song from 1965 is the second entry from the Beatles on this list. The sound of the tambourine begins to play after a few lines. It has an acoustic theme with light percussion that audiences enjoy. This appealing rhythm has numerous covers proves its reputation as an iconic track.
20. “I Can’t Explain” by The Who
The drum and tambourine combination on this record works in full harmony. Together it makes this rock song simple and at the same time appealing. The vocals are also on point, making this piece a very enjoyable listen.
With its versatile charm, the tambourine steals the spotlight in production numbers. From setting the beat to enhancing the musical backdrop, it’s an instrument worth appreciating in these songs. So, when you’re looking for a delightful experience, remember: simplicity and presentation matter, and the tambourine always emerges as the sure-shot winner!