"Black Tambourine" as written by John Robert King, Michael S. Simpson, Beck David Hansen and Eugene Blacknell....
Black hearts in effigy
We sing a song that was hated
All dressed in rag and bones
Sharks smell the blood that I'm bleeding
I know there's something wrong
Might take a fire to kill it
Might take a hurricane
Don't know what life that I'm livin'

Oh oh oh
Black tambourine
Oh oh oh
Black tambourine

My baby run to me
She lives in broken down buildings
Can't pay the rent again
These spider webs are my home now
And when the sun is down
We'll shake and rattle our bodies
To keep it warm at night
My tambourine is still shaking

Oh oh oh
Black tambourine
Oh oh oh
Black tambourine

Black hearts in effigy
We sing a song that was hated
All dressed in rag and bones
Sharks smell the blood that I'm bleeding
I know there's something wrong
Might take a fire to kill it
Might take a hurricane
Don't know what life that I'm livin'

Black tambourine
Oh oh oh
Black tambourine


Lyrics submitted by robvious

"Black Tambourine" as written by Beck David (beck Us2) Hansen Ellis Eugene Blacknell

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Black Tambourine song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, so laid back. I wish I could decipher more deeply into the meaning..the only thing I can suggest is perhaps discontent with one's life?
    I must add that I have fallen in love with this music video. I find it visually stunning.
    Tornadicon April 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyesss the video is awesome. discontent, perhaps.
    subterranean_summeron April 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt has a sort of quiet urgency that I really dig on. Better than E-Pro in my opinion. Brillant.
    the_king_in_yellowon June 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI belive that this is a song about a poor, posibly homeless, kid who plays music for money. He dosnt do that well and has a kid but still stays true to himself, god i'm corny.
    Incinerateon September 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I agree with you Incinerate about the poor person trying to survive in this world. The 'tambourine' is the heart, why does this person heart is black? Probably cause he thinks is dirty and mess up.
    That's why he says: 'to keep it warm at night, my tambourine is still shaking'.
    This person is always amazed how depiste everything he is still alive.
    Unnicknamedon December 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFive comments? This song is like... my favorite of Beck's. It's deep but still kind of upbeat. Maybe about starving artists...? Whatever it's about, though, it kicks ass.
    xmakesherflyxon May 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe song (and most of guero) has a black (literally) rundown city connotation. he talks a lot about bones and a tambourine kinda immitaits the sounds of rattling bones. shivering. im sure its got to be deeper then this but, for now, i gotta agreee with Unnicknamed. I'm thinking that he saw something that inspired him to right this. (like walking through the boondocks or something) idk
    Larrowon August 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with people about the homeless person trying to survive part.
    & to me it seems like, this is kinda Beck's twist on the song Green Tambourine by the Lemon Pipers
    i dunno though
    aheartsedated_x3on October 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdark and groovy. love its use on Inland Empire.
    carcrashkisson June 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about having sex with a black person like brown sugar or jungle love.....the second verse explains "we'll shake and rattle our bodies
    to keep it warm at night
    my tambourine is still shaking"


    the first is talking about the love between him and that person
    InteruptingCOWon August 03, 2009   Link

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