There is practically a song for every aspect of life, including work, birth, wedding, leisure, or even loss. Over the years, various musicians have graced our ears with melodious music to keep us entertained. However, one trend stands out among most musicians – the ability to integrate songs with whistling.
Whistling is one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful noise made by a human’s humble vocal cords. Below are some of the best whistling songs of all time:
1. (Sittin’ On) the Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding
This is one of the greatest songs with whistling of all time. It is considered the ultimate lazy day song, a tune you can enjoy with your loved ones during a family on a slow afternoon.
In the song, Otis Redding chills by the San Francisco Bay, watching the ships roll back and forth. The whistling fits perfectly in the song, making it seem like he is blowing to push time while throwing caution to the wind. However, Otis later died tragically in a plane crash in 1967, shortly after recording this song.
2. Two Of Us – The Beatles
The Beatles were a major sensation back in the days and were considered one of the best music groups in the world – some people still consider them the best ever. Two Of Us was sung by John and Paul. The song left most people in suspense as it wasn’t clear who it was about. Was it about Paul the writer and his wife Linda, Paul and John, or even both? The song is recorded towards the end of the Beatles career. The beautiful song is climaxed by tuneful whistling at the end.
3. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
Moves Like Jagger brings us to modern times with its electro-pop sound that includes whistling for a dramatic effect. The song is in tribute to Mick Jagger’s signature dance moves. Mick himself admitted to experiencing pressure whenever the tune came on. The song is not only amazing to listen to, but it also brings out your best dance moves.
4. Winds of Change – The Scorpions
Winds of Change gained a huge following for its outspoken nature on social and political reforms. Aside from speaking on social problems, the song has beautiful tunes with the most famous whistling intro in the music world. The whistling breathes life into the song to give it personality. Without the captivating intro, the song doesn’t feel right.
5. Jimmy Jazz – The Clash
The song opens up to a police hunt where the officers are after Jimmy Jazz, who seems to have broken the law (it’s never clear how). You can hear the whistling at the beginning of the track. In the song, you will hear the expression ‘Satta Massa Gana’ which means giving thanks in Rastafarian Parlance. You can also enjoy a little whistling from Joe Strummer towards the song’s end.
6. Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
This song takes us back to the 80s when it was all about the rave. Walk Like an Egyptian was a hit of its time and is considered a classic among music lovers. The band whistles the melody of the song to create a soulful effect. Some people argue that this could be because of laziness, but listening to the song, you realize that the whistling did the song justice. Regardless of your opinion, whistling plays an important role in the song’s overall success.
7. Golden Years – David Bowie
Bowie was an ardent fan of American R&B songs, which inspired the sensational song Golden Years. Despite Bowie’s European heritage, his song received a great following in the States, even appearing on the popular TV show Soul Train. The whistling is heard in the outro of the song.
8. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ is one of the top songs with whistling ever made. This song is one of the best choices when dealing with a tough situation and needs something to sing hope into you. In some cases, the Bobby McFerrin production has been termed a carefree song of hope. The whistling is spread out throughout the song to give it a soulful touch.
9. Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard – Paul Simon
Paul Simon introduces whistling halfway through this amazing piece backed by interesting lyrics. The song ends with unanswered questions. One of the puzzles is what ‘mama pajama’ saw; however, we’ll leave that for you to ponder. The unique percussion sound in the song was created by a Brazilian Instrument called ‘cuica,’ commonly heard in samba music.
10. Love Is A Battlefield – Pat Benatar
After its release, Love Is A Battlefield was one of the top trends and was even ranked in the pop charts. This song was a hit in the 80s, and the whistling made it even better. Despite the whistle coming towards the song’s end, it did it justice. This classic song will take the 70” and 80” kids back to their youth.
11. I Got You – Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson is famous for dedicating most of his songs to his wife Kim, ‘I Got You’ included. Aside from the melodic whistle integrated perfectly into the song, the song is considered one of the best love songs in today’s generation. Jack also produces amazing guitar sounds using the B-flat tuning to give it a unique effect – something he does in his other songs.
12. The Stranger – Billy Joel
The whistling at the start of the song eases you into the mood for a great show ahead. The opening took center stage in that Billy Joel didn’t have to include an instrument for the intro. After receiving an okay from his producer he kept the lonesome whistle as the song’s beginning, adding a few notes at the end. The song is mostly about being a stranger, even to yourself, and keeping secrets.
13. Games Without Frontiers – Peter Gabriel
This song opens a window back to the ’80s when mullet air was the trending fashion and Pong was a classy video game. It also features famous backing vocals singer Kate Bush as she sings ” jeux sans fronteires.”
14. Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
This song is characterized by a lot of whistling. Its intro opens with a chorus of whistling that serves as a precursor to the love song dedicated to a him or her. Personally, we think the whistling makes it cool, and we would recommend the song to a loved one.
15. Sissyneck – Beck
This song has a sampled whistle. The tuneful whistle is borrowed from the track ‘The Moog and Me’ by Dick Hyman and is found on Odelay – one of Beck’s classic albums.
16. Patience – Guns N’ Roses
Patience is one of the most popular karaoke song choices ever. Its slow and bluesy tone makes it a good choice for a romantic evening. You should also expect some gorgeous guitar tunes coupled with whistling to set the stage for Axl Rose.
17. Jealous Guy – John Lennon
John Lennon is considered one of the greatest singers of his time with an ability to pour his heart into his songs. In this song, he integrates whistling to give it a lovely touch as he sings of his insecurities.
18. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
This 1942 Christmas song is considered a classic and is still played in stores and households today. In the song, you can hear Crosby’s whistling as it harmonizes to a chorus of females.
19. Here Comes The Rain, Baby – Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison’s dark emotional ballad joins our list with its lonesome whistling that harmonizes perfectly with his dulcet tones.
20. Daydream – Lovin’ Spoonful
Daydream acted as the foundation for the Vaudeville thing, which was later adopted by several bands, including the Beatles. You can clearly hear the whistling in the song as it plays an integral part.
21. Centerfold – J. Geils Band
This 80’s song is centered on a boy with a crush on a high school girl. Years later, he sees the girls as the centerfold in a girly magazine. However, instead of taking pride in her success, he becomes disappointed, stating,” my blood runs cold,” and ” memory has been sold”. The song was a major success earning the band a spot touring with popular Stones.
22. Tighten Up – The Black Keys
Tighten Up has a bluesy, stripped-back tone that characterizes most of the band’s songs. The whistling in the background was drawn from Otis Redding’s hit song ‘(Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay.’
23. Wooden Chair – Angus Stone
Angus Stone incorporates a melodious whistle within the song to complete the amazing chorus. This combination appeared in the ‘Broken Brights’ album that received recognition.
24. Always Look On The Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
This is one of the best uplifting songs ever. The lyrics encourage you to whistle when the odds are against you, and you are feeling down. All you need to do is purse your lips and whistle.
25. Twisted Nerve – Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann made a name for himself, producing some of the best movie soundtracks. Some of his notable works include Taxi Driver and Psycho. His song Twisted Nerves was featured in a 1968 movie with the same name. This tune was later used in various Kung Fu movies and, more recently, in the American Horror Story.
26. Young Folks – Peter Bjorn and John
The song features an electronic, post-punk sound. However, this is contrasted by the lonesome whistle tune. The song works perfectly for both the young and old.
27. Good Life – One Republic
One Republic became famous for some of the best pop music of recent years. However, the whistling tune in this song’s hook made it stand out. This beautiful sound was made by lead singer Ryan Tedder who said the whistle tune came to him first – the song was made around the tune. The whistle is considered the song’s second chorus, and it took Chapstick several takes to get it right.
These are just some of the best whistling songs ever. Did we miss any? Let us know by contacting us today.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.