Episode 68: Tamborine

On Episode 68 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Snax (snaxonline.org), and I talk about masturbation…as it relates to Prince’s funky metaphor-filled “Tamborine” from his 7th album, Around the World In a Day. Some lines continue to confound us (“trolley cars?”) and lines that certainly make it clear Prince is in a sexual rut (“long days, lonely nights”), but we both agree the song is hilarious and deserves discussion.

“Guess I’ll stay at home, all alone and play my tambourine.”

This heavy drum-based experimental track is divisive, no matter how it’s spelled (tambourine, tamborine). Some people flat-out despise this song. Some flat-out love it? Is it brilliant? Dumb? Clever? Silly? Yes, to all of these, to be fair. Despite it being a short track, that doesn’t mean there isn’t much to talk about from a lyrical standpoint. We are more than diligent in trying to help us, and you figure this confounding song out.

In this episode, Snax and I spend some time figuring out what some of the lines, specifically “trolley cars that juggle seventeen,” mean, but there’s a lot more to discuss. The titular “Tamborine” must be a metaphor, right? Likely a sexual one at that. It packs a lyrical punch for such a short song, albeit one that many just dismiss as Prince trying to be different for the sake of being different. Also, I completely missed one of Snax’s jokes about this song discussing something he’s passionate about (you’ll have to listen to find out what we believe the song’s overarching theme is, and it isn’t simply loneliness.) It was a good joke, and it totally went over my head at the time of recording. Sorry, man!

Prince almost never played “Tamborine” live – 17 years after release, he snuck about a minute long version in this London Aftershow appearance in 2002 (approx. 30 min mark).

You can find more about Snax & his music using the links below.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/houseofsnaxine/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoneymoonSnax 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snaxfanpage/


The goal of each episode of Press Rewind is to:

  • Take a track by track look at the lyrical content of Prince’s discography
  • Discuss my own interpretation of each song’s lyrics along with any guest I may have
  • If submitted, discuss listener’s interpretations of each song’s lyrics

Thank you for joining me on this journey through Prince’s catalog!

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