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Songs with whistling in them?
November 24, 2008 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend to me some songs that have whistling in them?

My partner and I were listening to Monty Python's 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' song the other day and found ourselves enjoying whistling along to the whistling bit. She then remarked that there weren't enough songs with whistling in them. I had a bit of a think about it and y'know what? I can't think of a single other song that does.

I'm sure there are plenty of songs with whistling in them, so now I'm on a mission; to make and surprise her with a CD that has nothing but songs that have some whistling in it. So can you please recommend any songs that have whistling in them? I'm not looking for some old sea shanty or a wolf-whistle though; I'm talking about mainstream, well known music that has a whistling bit in it, ala 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.'

Thanks in advance!
posted by Effigy2000 to Media & Arts (94 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
They Might Be Giants: Whistling in the Dark
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:14 PM on November 24, 2008


Oh, there's that one..."doo doo doo...doo doo doo-de-doo...doo doo doo..." ('Wind Of Change' or something?), and I'm pretty sure there're some Guns 'n' Roses songs with whistling in 'em.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:17 PM on November 24, 2008


The Richard Cheese cover of Radiohead's 'Creep' has whistling in it.
posted by gimonca at 8:17 PM on November 24, 2008


Hah. Ignore my suggestion. I just re-listened to it and ironically: no actual whistling to be had.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:17 PM on November 24, 2008


Peter Bjorn And John - Young Folks
posted by spork at 8:18 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tom Waits - Green Grass
Goldfrapp - a few songs off of their first album
posted by vernondalhart at 8:18 PM on November 24, 2008


Basically any Andrew Bird song.
posted by thejoshu at 8:19 PM on November 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


"The Stranger" by Billy Joel.
posted by ROTFL at 8:19 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Paul Simon, "You Can Call Me Al"
posted by BobbyVan at 8:20 PM on November 24, 2008


Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding - Best whistling song ever.
posted by Ugh at 8:21 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a song on the original cast recording of the very short lived Broadway musical Amour called "Whistling Ballet" with a great whistle hook.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:21 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and, Paul Simon's Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard.
posted by thejoshu at 8:22 PM on November 24, 2008


(or maybe not)
posted by BobbyVan at 8:23 PM on November 24, 2008


here's an oldie but goody: I was Kaiser Bill's Batman by Whistling Jack Smith
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:24 PM on November 24, 2008


PATIENCE, Guns N' Roses

Only kind of joking.
posted by peggynature at 8:24 PM on November 24, 2008


The Fratellis - Whistle for the Choir. The bridge part (I guess that's what it is, 2/3 into the song?) has a really nice whistle part.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 8:25 PM on November 24, 2008


Colonel Bogey March.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:28 PM on November 24, 2008


Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers (SLYT)
posted by lovermont at 8:30 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Taj Mahal - Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie (Any Mo')
Guns N' Roses - Patience
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy
Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of The Bay

and then there's Daryl Hannah whistling 'Twisted Nerve' in Kill Bill.

on preview, a couple have been covered, but..so be it.
posted by mistikle at 8:30 PM on November 24, 2008


way oh way oh, waaaay ohhhhhh waaaaaay ohhhhhhh !
posted by sergeant sandwich at 8:31 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whistling recordings were apparently hugely popular in the early days of audio recording - check out the results for "whistling" over at the UC Santa Barbara Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.
posted by bubukaba at 8:32 PM on November 24, 2008


The Whistling Song by The Meat Puppets on Meat Puppets 2.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:33 PM on November 24, 2008


Jealous Guy by John Lennon (or the cover by Elliot Smith). The cover by Roxy Music is insipid.
posted by gingembre at 8:33 PM on November 24, 2008


Did you mark thejoshu's answer as best? Well you should because ANDREW. BIRD. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT.

More specifically, you want his albums from the last five years or so. Weather Systems (Take a listen to "First Song". It's a good primer to his whistling madness). Mysterious Production Of Eggs. Armchair Apocrypha. Soldier On. Fingerlings 1 through 3.
posted by greenland at 8:34 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Second the Andrew Bird, I recommend Cataracts.
Also, Rilo Kiley - Ripchord
John Lennon - Jealous Guy
The Magnetic Fields - Blue You
Islands - Humans
posted by chairmanroflmao at 8:34 PM on November 24, 2008


It sounds like whistling in The Fall's Shoulder Pads 1 and 2.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:44 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's quite a bit from classic Disney movies:

"Whistle While You Work" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
"Heigh-Ho" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
"Give a Little Whistle" from Pinocchio
"A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins

And one non-Disney recommendation: "Right Field" by Peter, Paul and Mary.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:44 PM on November 24, 2008


Andy Griffith Theme song.
posted by marsha56 at 8:45 PM on November 24, 2008


simon & garfunkel - "me and julio (down by the schoolyard)"
posted by smalls at 8:46 PM on November 24, 2008


The Andy Griffith Show Theme



posted by Seeba at 8:46 PM on November 24, 2008


crap. duplicate. i even searched for it before i posted.?!?
posted by smalls at 8:46 PM on November 24, 2008


Don't Be A Stranger by The Shadow Project. Whistling starts about two minutes in.
posted by anifinder at 8:47 PM on November 24, 2008


ok, here's one - Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"
and "Me Myself & I" by De la Soul (reminds me of middle school every time)
posted by smalls at 8:52 PM on November 24, 2008


Centerfold from J. Geils Band
posted by theichibun at 8:52 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Loving Spoonful - Daydream
Harlem Globetrotters' theme: Sweet Georgia Brown
posted by Snerd at 8:53 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe not what you're looking for, or maybe exactly what you're looking for: DJ Riko - Whistler's Delight is a montage of many, many examples of whistling from popular songs. It includes Walk Like An Egyptian, Centerfold, a few aforementioned, a few I don't know, and a few I'm embarrassed to not recognize. Enjoy.
posted by knile at 8:56 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rats, I was just about to post (What A Day for A) Daydream by the Lovin' Spoonful...

OK, my second (and much inferior) suggestion is the theme song for Garry Shandling's show ("We're almost to the part of where I start to whistle...")
posted by lgandme0717 at 8:58 PM on November 24, 2008


Andrew Bird's "Nervous Tic Motion of the Head" is one of the best whistling-inclusive pop songs ever.
posted by luriete at 9:08 PM on November 24, 2008


Big Rock Candy Mountain

Whistle-Stop
posted by Rhaomi at 9:13 PM on November 24, 2008


On second read, my suggestions are both pretty old. Then again, the first was part of the best-selling soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou, and the second is the original version of the infamous Hamster Dance. So there's a bit of a pop-cultural tie to both of them, crusty though they may sound.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:16 PM on November 24, 2008


Winchester Cathedral is a classic (it starts at 2:53, but the first song has some whistling in it too).
posted by Balonious Assault at 9:24 PM on November 24, 2008


As a bonus, "Hocus Pocus" also features yodeling.

Preview shows that about half of these have already been noted, but I'm keeping them anyway since (at least) some previous comments mentioning them didn't link to them.
posted by Flunkie at 9:27 PM on November 24, 2008


Noah and the Whale: 5 Years' Time
posted by jschu at 9:28 PM on November 24, 2008


Seconding Andrew Bird's A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
posted by PueExMachina at 9:29 PM on November 24, 2008


Wilco -- "Red Eyed and Blue"
posted by monocyte at 9:30 PM on November 24, 2008


@turgid dahlia: It's "Wind of Change" by Scorpions.
posted by curagea at 9:51 PM on November 24, 2008


Toots Thielmanns' "Bluesette"
posted by bink at 9:53 PM on November 24, 2008


Beck - Sissyneck.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:55 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The guys at Sound Opinions talked about whistling songs last year when Peter Bjorn and John came on their show. The folks who populate their message board had a lot to add to the list. My favorites:

XTC - Generals and Majors
De La Soul - Eye Know
Juan Esquival - Jalousie/Sentimental Journey--the clip features a whistling pencil sharpener

Also from the forum, here's a list of samples from DJ Riko's "Whistler's Delight."
posted by hydrophonic at 10:01 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


John Lennon- Real Love, awesome whistle solo
posted by BrnP84 at 10:05 PM on November 24, 2008


Also linked from that forum is this playlist:
Roger Miller / Whistle-Stop (formerly known on this blog as "Robin Hood Theme"
Andrew Bird / Simple X / Armchair Apocrypha
Beck / Sissyneck
Man Man / Van Helsing Boombox / 6 Demon Bag
Theme to Andy Griffith Show
Peter Bjorn and John / Young Folks / Writer's Block
Elvis / A Whistling Tune
John Phillip Sousa / Colonel Bogey's March (Theme from Bridge Over the River Kwai)
Pixies / La La Love You
Bobby McFerrin / Don't Worry Be Happy
Taj Mahal / Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie (Any Mo) / Best of Taj Mahal
Elliott Smith / Jealous Guy
Paul Simon / Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
Harlem Globetrotters / Sweet Georgia Brown
Dr. John / Big Chief
Bernard Herrman / Twisted Nerve
Supertramp / Goodbye Stranger
Girl Talk / Minute by Minute
Otis Redding / Sittin on the Dock of the Bay
Cat Power / After It All / The Greatest (Emphasis mine. This song is amazing.)
Guns N Roses / Patience / Live Era 87-93
Andrew Bird / Dark Matter / Armchair Apocrypha
Built to Spill / Broken Chairs
Beatles / Two of Us / Let it Be
Lovin Spoonful / Daydream
J. Geils Band / Centerfold
Bangles / Walk Like an Egyptian
Gaslight Guzzlers / Whistlin' Col.
Professor Longhair / Big Chief
John Lennon / Jealous Guy
They Might Be Giants / Whistlin in the Dark
Cansei De Ser Sexy / Music is my Hot Hot Sex / CSS

posted by hydrophonic at 10:05 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's down right now, but the Online Guide to Whistling Records has an awesome collection.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:10 PM on November 24, 2008


Marty Robbin's "Ribbon of Darkness."
(Yeah, forty-year old country music is kinda my thing.)
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:18 PM on November 24, 2008


"Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft" by the Wedding Present has a few seconds of whistling in there somewhere.
posted by decagon at 10:27 PM on November 24, 2008


The Lucksmiths - I Don't Want to Walk Around Alone No More.

Andrew Bird is great. My favorite whistling of his might be the solo in Masterfade from the album Mysterious Production of Eggs.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:32 PM on November 24, 2008


The Whistle Song by P.J. Olsson. Catchy enough that it caught my attention in the Starburst ad.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 10:33 PM on November 24, 2008


Black Stone Heart by Bauhaus. The whistling comes in at 1:32. Catchy!
posted by Mountain Goatse at 10:41 PM on November 24, 2008


K'naan - The Dusty Foot Philosopher
You can hear it in the player down in the corner here.
As a bonus, it doesn't auto play!

The whistle is a really good hook, says I.
posted by Acari at 10:43 PM on November 24, 2008


A few versions of Real Auld Mountain Dew have a terribly addictive whistling part at the beginning. This is not the best version but gives you the idea.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:55 PM on November 24, 2008


Nobody's mentioned "Joyride" by Roxette, so...
posted by The Shiny Thing at 10:59 PM on November 24, 2008


"Love Letters in the Sand" - Pat Boone, whistling by Neil Sedaka

"What do the Simple Folk do?" - From "Camelot" - Whistling (and singing) by Julie Andrews and Richard Burton. - Watch just for the awesome whistling, even if you don't use it!

Extra history alert: Walt Disney saw Ms. Andrews as Guenevere during one of her performances, and was so taken by her skillful whistling, he decided that he must have her to play the part of Mary Poppins, which, as we all know, is a whistling role. /geek

And as a bonus - (Because the song is whistled, rather than whistling being in a song...)

"O Mio Bambino" - From "She's a Good Skate Charlie Brown" as whistled by Woodstock. (Yes, that's whistling, not a saw...)

Seconding:

The Stranger
Me and Julio Down by the School Yard
Winds of Change

And, um, referring to "Call me Al" - that's a pennywhistle, not someone actually whistling - but points for being a great song!
posted by Kimothy at 11:03 PM on November 24, 2008


I'm entirely surprised that no one has yet mentioned Rammstein - Engel.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:19 PM on November 24, 2008


More G&R: "Civil War"
posted by Gianna at 11:32 PM on November 24, 2008


Hoagy Carmichael's version of Stardust (lovely, scratchy 78 version available from this page)
posted by Jofus at 2:45 AM on November 25, 2008


Kyu Sakamoto, "Sukiyaki." Even if the name doesn't click, it's definitely NOT obscure - #1 hit in 1963. If you like oldies, you probably know it.
posted by whatzit at 3:01 AM on November 25, 2008


Goldfrapp - Lovely Head
posted by Nattie at 3:09 AM on November 25, 2008


Guns N' Roses - Civil War
posted by Hates_ at 4:43 AM on November 25, 2008


Amanda Marshall >> If I Didn't Have You --- sorry, at work right now so can't provide link to the song. Whistling at the beginning and end.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 5:38 AM on November 25, 2008


Blackbird - The Beatles
posted by pised at 5:54 AM on November 25, 2008


Devotchka's The Enemy Guns has a truly epic whistle.
posted by otolith at 6:12 AM on November 25, 2008


OH OH. Ennio Morricone's The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. And more than just the opening/theme I believe. It is such a great album in general.
posted by collocation at 6:19 AM on November 25, 2008


The theme to Fistful of Dollars for example. Or, even more iconic "For a Few Dollars More".
posted by rongorongo at 6:33 AM on November 25, 2008


The story behind the whistling on "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" is particularly poignant if you do not know it.
posted by rongorongo at 6:41 AM on November 25, 2008


I thought the theme from The Great Escape was whistled - it's not, but it sure is fun to whistle along to!
posted by lunasol at 6:54 AM on November 25, 2008


Guster's "All the Way Up to Heaven" features a great whistling section in the middle.

And "Annie" by the American Princes has a little quiet whistling in it.
posted by bassjump at 7:04 AM on November 25, 2008


I Like Birds by The Eels
posted by Andy Harwood at 7:13 AM on November 25, 2008


If Love Is a Red Dress, by Maria McKee. It's also just a gorgeous song.
posted by isogloss at 7:32 AM on November 25, 2008


Happy Mondays - Step On has sleazy whistling throughout.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:34 AM on November 25, 2008


A Queensryche song from Rage of Order had whistling, but I don't have my cds at hand.
posted by ersatz at 7:39 AM on November 25, 2008


There It Go (The Whistle Song) by Juelz Santana
posted by electroboy at 7:52 AM on November 25, 2008


My Kitteh thinks this is a good song. Claud Vonstroke - The Whistler. (It is spelt wrong... but meh, copy/paste and you'll get the right one if this link screws up.)

And I think that this is a good song. Kanye West - Young Folks.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 8:09 AM on November 25, 2008


Sweet Georgie Brown (aka the Harlem Globetrotters theme song) has been mentioned, but I just wanted to re-iterate, because it is the Ultimate Whistling Song.
posted by kidsleepy at 9:34 AM on November 25, 2008


Yes, a thousand times Andrew Bird. When he whistles it almost sounds like a theremin. Sometimes he does it as a central part of a song. Sometimes it's almost a throwaway. But when I think whistling I think Andrew Bird.

First song
A nervous tic motion of the head to the left
Spare-ohs
Plasticities
Weather systems
Masterfade
posted by amery at 10:16 AM on November 25, 2008


Pretty much anything by Roger Whittaker.
posted by heffalump at 10:48 AM on November 25, 2008


"Maiden's Milk" by the Meat Puppets, from Up on the Sun.
Even BETTER whistling than the aforementioned Whistling Song (which is a great song, mind you) . . .
posted by deejay jaydee at 12:14 PM on November 25, 2008


Really, no "Magic Moments"? Perry Como at his finest. Take that how you will.
posted by fidelity at 12:34 PM on November 25, 2008


There's a Pogues song that i can't think of it's name....
posted by wilful at 4:54 PM on November 25, 2008


check out "portobello road" by cat stevens. very very early in his career and a fannnnntastic song.
posted by chickadee at 5:31 PM on November 25, 2008


Catch 22 - Rising the Fourth Wave

Technically another penny whistle, but still a great song to whistle along with.
posted by kidsleepy at 8:48 PM on November 25, 2008


*rising = Riding
posted by kidsleepy at 8:48 PM on November 25, 2008


Waitress (YT) by Live. Whistling starts at 2:04.
posted by shannonm at 8:50 PM on November 25, 2008


There isn't any actual whistling in the song, but I love whistling along to the melody from PPK's Resurrection.
posted by Jawn at 4:52 AM on November 26, 2008


"Yofo" by the Mexican group Molotov has a hook that's whistled.
posted by taschenrechner at 12:50 PM on November 26, 2008


Björk – Isobel
posted by limon at 10:38 PM on January 20, 2009


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