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  • Writer's pictureJO'B

Try Whistling This – 18 great tunes to pucker and up and blow to…

I can’t whistle….well, I sort of can, but it’s not very impressive! I certainly can’t do that thing where you stick two fingers in your mouth and emit a mahoosive whistle.

But these guys all applied their whistling skills to their musical careers, with varying results…

1. Wind Of Change – The Scorpions

Did The Scorpions write it? Did the CIA write it? Check out podcast Wind Of Change by Patrick Radden Keefe and decide yourself. I like the idea of secret agents whistling to bring down the Iron Curtain...

2. Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn, and John

Sadly forever associated with DIY, due to its use in Homebase adverts, this is whistling in excelsis. Love it, but always feel I should pull out my drill and start “fixing” something…and that would be unwise...

3. Let’s Go Surfing – The Drums

Having seen The Drums, I really can’t see them surfing anywhere, but at least we know they can whistle to get attention if they get in trouble out there…

4. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Such a lovely song, and it was beautifully covered for Cameron and Mitchell’s wedding in Modern Family.

5. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People

This is one of those maddening earworms, so proceed with caution, or this will never leave your head...

6. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Monty Python

The greatest crucifixion-based piece of whistling ever, I don’t care what you say…

7. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Ennio Morricone

Whistling, yodelling, wah-wahing – this has everything!

8. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard – Paul Simon

Paul whistles the tune to this brilliant song – he really didn’t need Art, did he?

9. 5 Years’ Time – Noah & The Whale

Fun fun fun! Fab tune, but again buries itself in your head in a quite maddening way - if I ever go postal, this will be why...

10. Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

The Bangles appear a surprising number of times in my blog…I really did fancy Susanna Hoffs…

11. Toothpaste Kisses – The Maccabees

Just a lovely indie ballad, and good to know that if you ever snog a member of The Maccabees, they will be minty fresh.

12. Golden Years – David Bowie

If Bowie whistled, then whistling is cool. Fact.

13. Coffee – beabadoobee

This starts off like Raindrops Are Falling On My Head, but morphs into an indie-tastic strum, with chilled whistling backing the chorus - love her, but her band name is hard to spell...

14. Games Without Frontiers – Peter Gabriel

Whistling tunes we're kissing baboons in the jungle” – he would actually go on to make music with Kanzi and Panbanisha, a pair of sibling bonobo apes – great whistling though on this It’s A Knockout inspired classic.

15. I Can’t Imagine A World Without Me – Echobelly

Bit of a cheat, as they just do a two-finger whistle in the intro, but it’s super cool (and I still can’t two-finger whistle, goddamit).

16. La La Love You – Pixies

A whistling declaration of love, along with the instruction to “shake your butt”…I don’t want to see Black Francis shake his butt, no matter how much I love Pixies….

17. Jealous Guy – Roxy Music

Yes, I know John Lennon wrote it and whistled first, but there is something marvellous about watching Bryan Ferry louchely whistling with his eyes half closed – it’s strangely seductive…

18. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

The greatest whistling song ever – Otis never heard the final track, as he was tragically killed in a plane crash before it was finished. It’s said the whistle was just a placeholder while he worked on a final lyric, which he never got to finish. Steve Cropper from Booker T & The MGs, who played with Redding was grief stricken, but loved the whistle, so called in musician Sam Bluzman Taylor to record it properly. What a shame, but it’s a great whistle…


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