Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted by Stephen Dilettoso
Of course, there's Snow White's classic 'Whistle While You Work,' but for a select talented few, the whistling is their work. To spare you from spending the rest of your day whistling along to the Scorpions' 'Wind of Change' or Bobby McFerrin's 'Don't Worry Be Happy' hooks stuck in your head, we've put together an officially unofficial list of the top 10 songs featuring the art of whistling. So if they're new to you, or tunes you know -- you know how to whistle, don't you? Just put your lips together, and ... go!
Despite releasing two well-received albums beforehand, it still seems like Peter, Bjorn, and John sprang up overnight from Sweden with what might be the biggest earworm of the past decade. To this day, most fans might not even know the song's chorus, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a single one that doesn't start whistling the tune whether they like it or not.
9. 'Oh No,' Andrew Bird (2009)
If whistling were a martial art, consider Bird the Bruce Lee of the indie music craft. Of course you'd have to replace the nunchucks and the sweaty six-pack abs with a mandolin and a knitted scarf, but you get the idea. This tune from his 2009 album 'Noble Beast' roundhouse-kicks off with a sweet melodic whistle that would make any worthy opponent weak in the knees.
Throughout his career, Beck has been known for his multi-instrumental postmodern arrangements and mad scientry of processed beats. Appearing on the sample-heavy album 'Odelay,' with inspirations ranging from Grand Funk Railroad to Franz Schubert, this track is no exception. The whistled into to 'Sissyneck' is courtesy of legendary jazz pianist Dick Hyman.
Marking the debut of yet another one of Bowie's many musical identity crises of the 1970s, his 'Golden Years' incarnation strutted out with a just little more eye shadow than his previous reinventions. Bowie was one of the first white performers to appear on the R&B-heavy show 'Soul Train' in 1975, where he allegedly wet his whistle for a few hours before the show and performed this Top 10 hit three sheets to the wind.
Although the whistling riff unassumingly dubbed into this love anthem sounds as if it may have been sampled from a construction site in Manhattan, we thought it was clever enough to make this list. Plus, it's the Pixies. We just hope the love was rekindled on their recent reunion tour enough for them to whistle it again live, and soon.
No best-of list would be complete without an inclusion from Lennon & McCartney. We just wish the two of them could have agreed on which one wrote it. The song was originally thought to be Paul McCartney's ode to his bride to be, Linda, but a probably confused John Lennon appears to take credit in his 1980 Playboy interview. Maybe Lennon was making the point that his whistling part is the song.
4. 'Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,' Paul Simon (1972)
No one really knows what he and Julio were doing down by the schoolyard, but Mama Pajama sure blew the whistle on those boys. It was against the law but, lucky for Paul Simon, writing obscure lyrics is not a crime. Apparently neither is proper grammar in song titles, but 'Julio and I Down by the Schoolyard' just wouldn't have the same zing.
After gaining a respectable following in North America throughout the 1970's, the British-born group finally gained traction in its homeland with the release of 'Breakfast in America' toward the end of that decade. The parts of the song that aren't whistled are highly steeped in irony and double meanings about one-night stands with women named "Mary" and "Jane."
2. 'Patience,' Guns N' Roses (1987)
In his prime, Axl Rose was one of the most animated frontmen in rock n' roll, which still comes through even when he's whistling the intro to this sensitive acoustic ballad. Perceived by most fans as an anthem about Axl's short-lived marriage to model (and Everly Brothers scion) Erin Everly, the tune was actually written by Izzy Stradlin and concerns the guitarist's main squeeze at the time.
With whistling being the epitome of leisurely activity, it was only appropriate the tip of the hat went to the King of Soul for his ode to doin' nothin'. Recorded just weeks before Redding's death in 1967, 'Dock of the Bay' went on to be his only No. 1 pop hit. The story goes that since there was no last verse written by the time of the first recording, Redding decided to whistle the outro that became part of his legacy.