musicthe sound of your morning

the sound of your morning: clap your hands

by Grace Bonney

Print above by Sarah Marshall at Etsy

There are few things I love more in songs than a good hand clap. I naturally want to tap my feet or clap my hands when listening to music, so I appreciate when musicians build that right into the song so I don’t feel like such a doofus for clapping on my own. Whether the clapping is built into the song’s background or comes to a halt for a full-on clapping break down (like the Wild Flag track below), I love songs that make me stop what I’m doing and join in for a little dance break. Today I’ve chosen 10 of my favorite songs that feature great hand clapping (literally) sections, so I hope they’ll get your Monday started on the right foot. Please feel free to add links to your favorites in the comment section below, I could always use a new hand-clap favorite in my life… xo, grace

Wild Flag “Romance” – I’m so bummed all of the D*S Book tour dates clash with this band’s fall tour. If they’re coming to a town near you please go for me and clap along to this song. The clap break down here is at 2:00.

Spoon “The Underdog” – Such a great song, and the clapping kicks in around 1:02 and continues for each chorus.

Weezer “Photograph” – I love Rivers Cuomo. I know he seems to tick everyone else I know off, but I think he’s adorable. The clapping kicks in right away and continues throughout the whole song.

Beck “Where It’s At” – For a brief moment I forgot how much I love Beck. So kooky, so talented and so many great clapping sections in this song’s chorus.

6 More songs continue after the jump…

Parliament “Flashlight” – What’s not to love about this song? The hand claps start right away and keep going throughout the whole song. Perfect party song.

Feist “1234” – The clapping in this video comes with coordinating dance moves and lots of colorful outfits. Win.

T Rex “Bang a Gong” – I went on a mini T Rex bender a few weeks ago, so I’ll take this excuse to listen to this song again. The claps start in the beginning of the song and continue throughout the full track. More of a consistent beat than a breakdown, it’s still good to clap along to…

The Replacements “Alex Chilton” – Claps right before this chorus are one of the many things that make this song great.

Tom Petty “American Girl” – Amazing song, fun claps and a beat that makes it impossible to not stand up and dance around.

Iggy and the Stooges “Shake Appeal” – Clapping throughout the song, great for a midday dance break.

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  • Great picks! The only one missing (in my humble opinion) that I always seem to think of when thinking of hand clapping songs is Styx~ Too Much Time on My Hands!! :-)

  • I am completely with you on this! I even have an on-going ‘happy clappy’ playlist project. I can see these being added tout de suite :)

  • No “Close To Me” on this list? For shame! :)

  • I have to put in a vote for Sia with ‘Clap Your Hands’; a) she’s my homegirl, b) hand-clapping is the whole theme of the song, and c) WHAT A SONG!

  • You’ve got to check out Theresa Anderson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek2v9-UCWhw

    Loving this one by Katie Herzig right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDsU_-_kuSo

    Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkle comes to mind, and Hey Ya by Outcast. Love the quick 5 claps in that one!

  • Try this one on for size: Buke and Gass “Revel In Contempt” Song starts at the 9-minute mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wQv60dxAUU

  • Another one: The Bird and the Bee’s “Polite Dance Song”

    Would you please clap your hands?


  • I love Beck’s song, “Clap Hands”. There’s not a constant clapping through out, but every once in a while. It’s a great dance song.

  • Le Tigre – Who Took the Bomp

    also, completely glad other people recognize Clapping as a musical genre.

  • Yesterday I was listening to Florence and the Machine’s “Dog days are over” and when I read this post I immediately thought of that song… love the way the clapping compliments her voice :)

  • “Here Comes the Sun,” by The Beatles! Great clapping action, and lyrics that give you something to clap about, too.

  • Hey Marseille’s Rio! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUPq-zICOOc They had the audience do the hand-clapping bit at a concert I went to – it was a blast!

  • Portland band Ages and Ages is clap-heavy in almost all of their songs. It’s great to see live!


  • “Clap hands” by Beck is a good one too (clue’s in the name ;) I saw them perform it live using cutlery and drinking glasses for the percussion. Amazing.


  • “In the Dirt” by S. Carey and “Lake Michigan” by Rogue Wave have hand clappy sounds, but not in the “everybody clap along” kind of way.
    “The Sound of Settling” by Death Cab for Cutie has kinda tricky hand claps.
    Anybody remember Jump, Little Children do the hand clap at their shows in “Say Goodnight”? it was a joke about the clap-on/clap-off lights. good times.

  • Some really good songs on the list, but were some classics that I felt were missed.
    The Meters – Handclapping Song
    The Zombies – Time of the Season
    Paco De Lucía – La Nina De Puerta Oscura

  • Oh you have to listen to flaming lips “the w.a.n.d ” song. It has the best downbeat claps!!! I can never get the beat right! Lol

  • The first thing that comes to mind is The Shins’ “Kissing The Lipless,” which doesn’t have clapping *in* the song, but kicks off with a “CLAP clap clap CLAP clap clap–WOO!” that just feels good to follow along with. :)

    I can’t remember if there is actual clapping in the song itself, but the better Ingrid Michaelson song to conjure up in this instance, I think, is “You And I.” Just dreamy.

    Some not clapping, but similar vibe selections:
    !!! (also spelled Chk Chk Chk)’s “Me & Guliani Down By The Schoolyard” ends with a percussion piece that always finds me searching for the nearest bare surface to knock-slap-knock-knock-slap in time with. Super fun!

    If you dig whistling the same way you do clapping, there’s always Peter, Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks.”

    I’ll have to keep an ear out for clapping in the future! I never really paid attention before!

  • It takes forever to get there (3:09) and doesn’t last long at all but Queen’s “Somebody To Love” should be on this list.


  • How can you forget Beck’s “Go It Alone”?? a classic!
    a few other excellent clap-inducing ones…
    The Blow, “Hey Boy”
    The Generationals, “When They Fight, They Fight”
    K-OS, “Crabbuckit”

  • Great post!
    You may already know this one but it’s a clapping must! ;D


  • I’ve always LOVED songs with clapping in them, but couldn’t figure out why, or how to search for more. This list is fantastic. I have to add “Fixin’ to Die” by G. Love with collaboration from the Avett Brothers.

    Here’s the link!

  • “I Think I’ll Call You Mine,” by The Parlours is my new favorite hand clapping song. It is such a good song all around (I always find myself singing it throughout the day), but it also includes some great clapping.

  • Pretty much everyone of the Hilotrons’ songs has at least one hand clap. This isn’t the danciest song, but it is the one on youtube:


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