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Shake that Tambourine

3.3 / 5

Words & Music: Bill Giant Bernie Baum Florence Kaye

Shake... the little tambourine
Shake a-ring a jing -jing a-ling
Shake, shake my little dancin' queen
Shake that tambourine, that tambourine

I can hear them dancing, in the marketplace
Swishin' and a-swirlin', in their' silks and lace
Bracelets keep a-clinking, on their' tiny feet
And with their tambourines they keep the beat

Rings on their fingers, bells on their toes
They make music, wherever they go
Pound that little drum now, tap on it with your thumb

Shake, shake the little tambourine
Shake a-ring a-jing-a-ling-a-ling
Shake,shake my little dancin' queen
That tambourine, that tambourine

I heard their talent, open palace doors
Every night they're dancin', on those marble floors
Kings may bow before them, but they'll be my own
Then they'll shake their thing for me alone

Rings on their fingers, bells on their toes
They make music, wherever they go
Pound that little drum now, tap on it with your thumb

Shake, shake the little tambourine
Shake a-ring a-jing-a-ling-a-ling
Shake,shake my little dancin' queen
That tambourine, that tambourine

Recordingdate: 1965/02/24, first released on: Harum Scarum (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Shake that Tambourine:



Find available albums with Shake that Tambourine.

old shep wrote on April 20, 2008
Complete garbage unworthy of Elvis' great talent
FLASHBOY wrote on May 26, 2008
Iimagine Elvis being sick over these kind of crap he was forced to record stupidity to go with the movies he had to do
Natha wrote on May 26, 2008
For those who like the musical styled and easy going Elvis movies this is part of the setting. Being trapped in contracts arranged by his manager he had no other option. Quite a number of these musical songs are leagues below par considering his unique talent. Hence it is a pity that he had to record songs like this one. Luckily he also recorded many other songs that outweight this fluffy stuff.
Mark S. wrote on May 26, 2008
The Beatles: "Yesterday"; The Rolling Stones: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"; The Byrds: "Mr. Tambourine Man"; The Beach Boys: "Help Me Rhonda"; The Righteous Brothers: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"; Elvis Presley: “Shake That Tambourine”……..OUCH!
My boy, my boy wrote on May 26, 2008
Between " A dog's life" and this one, I'm all confused and don't know which one to pick !
Pedro Nuno wrote on May 26, 2008
Guys this song is so bad, you should't even have chosen it to be song of the day...
Steve V wrote on May 26, 2008
Must have taken about 10 minutes to write this piece of crap. Elvis was at an all time low recording wise in 1965. All bad soundtrack recordings with hack songwriters. His worst year in the studio at a time when music was being redefined by other artists he inspired. Amazing.
sitdown68 wrote on February 03, 2009
A real odd song indeed. Especially the line "Pound that little drum now, tap on it with your thumb" ...Guess what? Those songwriters were reciting the tambourine player manual page one ;-) Only Dominique would be able to top this.This stands for the most misguided artist in the world managementwise. But what was Presleys part in it? To what extent was he involved in the decision making process for upcoming movie projects? Parker always stated that wasn't involved with the musical affairs. So who else had a word back then? As it was a song which had to fit in the movie the result is obvious. Silly movies. Silly songs. That's the whole math.
JLpResLey wrote on February 03, 2009
Yes, when I first heard the studio version, I was very dissapointed. But, the faster version from the movie is much better, there is so much more energy in that performance. Look, every song that an artist record is not going to be a hit. Did the beatles or the stones make lesser songs. Of course they did. When you mention yesterday and satisfaction, it´s important to remember that those songs is among the very best by those two bands. Elvis had done a lot of great songs before, and those songs wasn´t going to dissapear only because he recorded songs like this
Marty_TCE wrote on February 03, 2009
Oh dear.
dgirl wrote on February 03, 2009
Elvis was forced to sing this, Elvis was forced into this movie & that script. Didnt Elvis have a voice at all? By this time, he had should have seen enough of these awfuls songs to put an end to it. His career was starting to suffer as a result. Any artist would have. John Lennon certainly did after making Help. He said no more movies and that was that.
Jim Hoff wrote on February 03, 2009
Simply .... humiliating for both Elvis as well as his fans!!!!
Rob Wanders wrote on February 03, 2009
pretty bad
elvis1279 wrote on February 03, 2009
Typical movie fare. It's not as bad as "Old MacDonald".
theoldscudder wrote on February 03, 2009
Awful simply awful. Yet lightyears better than He's Your Uncle Not Your Dad.
NONE000000 wrote on February 04, 2009
Harum Scarum is one of my least fav Elvis movies to try to sit though....but oddly, a soundtrack I find strangely enjoyable mostly. I know this is not really a "good" song, but if you can get past the sad fact that the most gifted artist on earth is singing something so horribly beneath him, it is a kinda fun little track. In fact, in 1986 Prince wrote a recorded a song called "Tambourine" that reminds me very very slightly of this, with the strange jerky rhythm. Anyway, if you don't think about the tragedy of it, it isn't so bad.
Deano1 wrote on February 25, 2010
I defend a lot of Elvis' movie songs because I really find a lot of them cute and harmless and more often than not, entertaining. BUT! The soundtrack to this movie ("Harum Scarum") does not bring much enjoyment at all. This track is not the worst track on the LP, but how in the world could you lead of a side of an album with this song??? Now you probably just woke up from a nap if you played side one of this album and you think side two has to be better...Right? Nope, this song is not catchy, fun, memorable or even average. Remember how the weak side two of the "Girls! Girls! Girls!" LP was led off with a great song, "Return To Sender"? This song is a far away removed from "Return To Sender" as Wayne Newton is from Elvis. The worst part of this album is this song and "Hey Little Girl" are the closest thing to rock and roll on the album!
Bestoftherest8301 wrote on June 06, 2012
Elvis did have a choice and he exercised that 3 years later, and we got the Comeback Special....If he didn't have a choice Parker would have signed on the dotted line again for some more mpvies. Now there's an interesting issue, how would that have developed and would Elvis lived longer for it? ... and this is an awful song, never play it. song of the day indeed!
ElvisDJ wrote on June 06, 2012
One of my favorite movie songs from one of my favorite movie soundtracks. Is it meaningful or serious? No, but the same could be said about a lot of Elvis songs, or a lot of other peoples' songs for that matter. I'd listen to this over Blue Moon or I Love You Because any day.
LonElvis wrote on June 06, 2012
While not a classic, I enjoy this song and the entire Harum Scarum soundtrack for that matter. I have the FTD of it and play it often. It's a fun and unique song and soundtrack. There's nothing wrong with pure fun and that's what this song is all about - fun.
TCB1974 wrote on June 06, 2012
After 1977, 1965 is the least interesting year from his career. Shake that tambourine is actually somewhat enjoyable though, while other songs like Petunia the gardener's daughter and Queenie wahine papaya are really kind of sad to listen to, similar to some recordings from 76/77.
Gorse wrote on January 23, 2013
I like the ballads on this album but this pseudo rock number does not reach their heights. I much prefer Hey Little Girl although far from perfect seems a lot closer to rock than this piece of fun film fluff.
sugartummy wrote on May 01, 2013
Our man sounds bored and rightly so. Still I can listen to it. Better than Lonesome Cowboy.
Jim Davidson wrote on October 07, 2015
Harem Scarum / Harem Holiday ranks among Elvis' worst movies. It seems to have been shot using substandard film-stock. The premise reminds me of a (paraphrased) comment by Moe Howard (Three Stooges), "If the studio had a pirate set available, we'd make a pirate short-film". Still, I very much enjoy the soundtrack; Shake that Tambourine!
bajo wrote on February 22, 2016
It's written so much bad about the movie and the soundtrack album. The original soundtrack LP sounded terrible. But, the DF release somehow changed the "picture" regarding the soundtrack album. I am actually able to enjoy Shake That Tambourine along with Hey Little Girl, Animal Instinct and Wisdom Of The Ages. Then there's So Close Yet So Far....which isn't that bad either. To put it this way: I have no problem with this soundtrack album anymore!
Morris wrote on February 22, 2016
Nice uptempo number good bridge
ElvisSacramento wrote on February 27, 2016
This isn't a great song by any means, but, I've always enjoyed listening to it. In my opinion, it's such a fun movie song and very catchy too. I've always enjoyed the entire "Harum Scarum" soundtrack album.and its middle-eastern flavored soundtrack too.
Cruiser621 wrote on January 29, 2019
1-star. Talk about absolute crap. This is it. This is so pathetic. I can't believe he stooped this low to make another "dying swan song" which the movie and its garbage soundtrack are so about. Actually, I can't believe I actually bought this crap and in mono. My last Elvis album for a very, very long time until 1969.
Pachakuti! wrote on February 21, 2022
Not the highlight of his career, however I'd clearly prefer this over the Masonic autotune abortion trash you hear on the radio nowadays.
Deano1 wrote on February 22, 2022
I noticed my comment from back in 2010 had some misinformation in it. This song was the last song on side 1 and not the lead song on side 2. This song followed two dreary ballads that along with "One Boy, Two Little Girls" from "Kissin' Cousins" are my three least favorite movie ballads. STT does nothing to improve side 1 and makes one wary of turning the LP over to give side 2 a chance.
The Hawk wrote on April 13, 2022
Of course, it's pretty fashionable nowadays to bash the Harum Scarum soundtrack because of it filling out a pretty terrible film (probably the worst of the "Elvis movie" category), but I have always liked it and find this particular track to be a hopping and jumping rock & roll number. Five stars.
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