I thought I’d end the work week with a light-hearted post about a topic that absolutely drives me insane. It’s been a source of aggravation and consternation to me for quite some time.
Of course I’m talking about the “White-People-Clap.”
Surely you know what I’m speaking of. It can happen at any event with music, but is most commonly seen at church services and, as I found last night, Elmo and Friends Musicals.
Not familiar? Here’s a brief synopsis. Someone begins a song, which, in order for the “White-People-Clap” to be heard, must be upbeat. I think the reason for this is that we hear the beat and something stirs deep inside us, and we think “I should clap my hands on this jam!” Well, the song is in 4/4, which is truly the easiest of time signatures, and we might actually get the downbeat right for the first few measures. You can see the brains around you whirling as they try to keep it going: “2 and 4, 2 and 4, 2 and”…..Somewhere in there, it starts to happen, the beat shifts on us, and we find ourselves clapping on 1 and 3. And once we’re locked in on the 1 and 3, there’s not stopping us. We’ll cheerfully clap away, all the while with a nervous smile because we know we’re doing it wrong, but we can’t seem to stop ourselves. So we continue on in awkwardness until the song mercifully ends.
Readers of the Perch, say it with me now:
We clap on 2 and 4. We clap on 2 and 4.
1 and 3, it’s not for me!
We clap on 2 and 4!!!
Rise up, people with rhythm! Unite!!! We clap on 2 and 4!!!!!