In this new post, we propose a memory game that we hope will entertain you for a while, fun and with a very summery theme. We’ve all hummed or whistled songs whose lyrics we didn’t know, only to find out that those songs included those whistles. How many whistle songs can you remember off the top of your head? But real whistling songs, not ones that just stayed in our minds like that, okay?
Throughout musical history, we have seen that any object that emits sound is likely to be used in songs, excluding the instruments, of course. A clear example is those popular initiatives where “trash” is used to create a different and original music that also raises awareness for the care and respect of the environment.
But you can also make music simply with our voice, like those artists who sing a cappella and seem to need no other accompaniment but songs with whistling in them, or the beatbox geniuses, who have the ability to emulate any sound and create mini concerts in a short period of time.
The same goes for whistling, which may look super simple but is quite complicated. As children, we were thrilled to learn to whistle, it’s a milestone in our personal history. And rightly so, as there are adults who can’t whistle or seem to want to cool down our soup more than anything else… Oh, how the people of La Gomera must laugh! They have their whistling language.
Playlist of 100 whistle songs in various languages
Putting together the playlist we present in this post has been quite a challenge, as well as a task to listen to every whistled song to find the exact moment. We had to rack our brains and not whistle beyond our abilities to find songs that really start with whistles or simply contain a small whistled part. It’s surprising how many songs we thought had whistles and in the end, they didn’t, our subconscious betrayed us.
In it, you will find modern whistled songs, older ones, songs that are part of movie soundtracks, songs in English, in Spanish. It’s a journey through the last musical decades that we hope you will enjoy and that when someone asks you about a song with whistling, you will have the answer ipso facto.
Selection of songs with whistles in English
Some songs with whistles in English are quite obvious like Whistle by Flo Rida which, being named that, would be odd if it didn’t include a whistle, right? Or Moves Like Jagger, which starts with a whistle just before Adam Levine sings; the same goes for Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. And Lazy Song by Bruno Mars also starts with a whistle.
Others are more subtle but equally memorable, like Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding. Or Two Of Us by the Beatles, where you have to wait for that little whistle.
And the ones that are already legendary, like Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, which surely was one of the first that came to your mind. Or, of course, the soundtrack of the movie A Fistful of Dollars, with those wild west whistles created by the genius Ennio Morricone.
As we always tell you, any contribution to this playlist is welcome, and we hope that the songs we have chosen will please you and provide good entertainment.
Don’t Worry Be Happy, by Bobby McFerrin
One could say that Don’t Worry Be Happy is the most cheerful, happy, and optimistic song in history. There’s no one who hasn’t whistled its opening chords and been infected by the song’s message, to not worry, that everything passes and that nothing is solved by overthinking.
And it was also the first a cappella song to reach the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, recorded without any instruments, just Bobby’s voice and his whistles. Something so simple that has made Don’t Worry Be Happy one of the most listened to and successful songs in the world, the whistled song par excellence.
In fact, we were hesitating between this song and I whistle a happy tune to give some joy and the choice seemed happier.
Love Generation, by Bob Sinclar
If Bob Sinclar (not “Sincler” as we usually pronounce it, thinking it’s Sinclair) has been in the music scene longer than the door, there must be a reason for it. This dark-skinned lost brother of David Guetta has been turning everything he spins into a hit since the beginning of the millennium, and that’s why he’s one of the big names in the house music scene.
A clear example is “Love Generation,” the first song with whistling in the beginning that comes to mind when searching for one, and it’s catchy too. In fact, you might catch yourself whistling it in unexpected situations. Ever since we first heard it in 2006, it hasn’t stopped playing everywhere, and that’s no surprise, because it’s a killer track that gives you an instant energy boost.
Wind of Change, by Scorpions
This German heavy band that has been rocking since the 70s has nearly 20 studio albums under their belt, millions of copies sold, over 5000 concerts worldwide, and various awards of all kinds. Quite the accomplished career.
Among the many hits in their discography, “Wind of Change” stands out—a power ballad with an epic tone that became an anthem for peace and one of the great whistled songs of the 90s, something much needed at the time due to the ending Cold War. It’s worth remembering in our days too, as we could use it. And of course, let’s not forget the introductory whistle.
Young Folks, by Peter Bjorn and John
Peter, Bjorn, and John are three Swedes who just wanted to sing for their own enjoyment, as they say, and it’s evident they didn’t overthink their name for the public. Clearly, they probably didn’t expect to rise so high with whistled songs. Guess they weren’t fortune tellers, folks.
“Young Folks” is another one of those intro-whistling songs with a steady rhythm that makes it super catchy. Advertisers know that too, as they’ve used it extensively in countless commercials. Maybe we’re exaggerating a bit, but hey, the song has played and continues to play where you least expect it.
Selection of Whistled Songs in Spanish
As was the case with whistled music in English, when reviewing the list of whistled songs in Spanish, it’s inevitable that we immediately recall some songs. For instance, the soundtrack of the acclaimed TV series “Verano Azul,” which captivated people of all ages who whistled along endlessly.
We’ll also think of Jiminy Cricket advising Pinocchio to give a little whistle when he needs help. Or that song from the movie “Robin Hood” where the rooster bard whistles as the credits roll. This song is also used in “Aquí Hay Dragones” to introduce the segment with Rodrigo Cortés (greetings to him, Juan, Arturo, and Javier—we’re always listening and love you, hehe). Another film with whistling was “Mary Poppins” and its “A Spoonful of Sugar.”
Calle 13 also added a subtle whistle in “Muerte En Hawaii,” and not-so-subtle was “Con Poco Me Lo Monto” by Zodiacs, used in an ad for a certain fizzy beverage, driving anyone who heard it for the umpteenth time crazy.
And we could go on, but we’ll let you discover the rest of the songs on our playlist.
Verano Azul, by Juan Magán
Our beloved Juan Magán, of Spanish and Dominican nationality, has spent a decade teaming up with the right people to create songs that aren’t always for all audiences, but they reach the top and play everywhere. It’s impossible not to remember “Ella No Sigue Modas,” a collaboration with Don Omar, or “Un Momento,” a collaboration with Inna.
In this case, a simple idea is enough to turn the song into a hit. Using the intro of TV Series “Verano Azul” as a sample, known as the spanish song with whistling in the beginning, and with a bit of English here, a bit of Spanish there, and a spicy twist to the lyrics make this track the perfect summer song.
Clara, by Joan Baptista Humet
The Valencian Joan Baptista Humet began his musical journey alongside Serrat. In fact, you can hear a vibrato in his voice that reminds us of him. Another influence was Lluís Llach, for whom he was an opening act. But Joan Baptista always had his own style, and in his songs, he reflected his feelings or the social problems of the time.
“Clara” is another spanish song with whistling in the beginning that might lead you to believe the song is about something sweet and pleasant, but it’s far from reality. With subtle metaphors, Joan tells us how Clara falls into drugs and ends up isolated from her world, her friends, her family. Unfortunately, it was a theme that was all too common in the 80s and took many people.
Campesina, by José Luis Y Su Guitarra
The native of Jaén, José Luis, balanced his musical career with his studies as a Civil Engineer and still found time to learn guitar, participate in the “tuna” music groups, and even dabble in cinema. Eventually, he leaned towards Civil Engineering, but during the decade when he enjoyed success, he was considered one of the great singer-songwriters of Spanish music.
“Campesina” is a simple song dedicated to a woman with black eyes who has the singer smitten. The guitar, his voice, and some cheerful whistles at the end of the song are enough to transport us to other worlds and past loves.
El Oso Poderoso, by Vainica Doble
Gloria and Carmen met by chance while studying at university. They say Carmen was whistling a melody while waiting for the bus, Gloria recognized the tune, and that’s where their friendship began. This also marked the start of their musical career, with modest success but with about ten albums released and a song particularly famous for being one of the most well-known songs about cooking in Spain.
“El Oso Poderoso” features clever metaphors referring to the dictatorship that Spain was under at the time, and the rejection they felt towards it, as well as repression and authoritarianism. In the 70s, you had to be careful not to cross certain lines when speaking out.
Extra: Happy whistle song
Medley: “The River Kwai March / Colonel Bogey March” (from the soundtrack of “The Bridge on the River Kwai”)
Entirely whistled and accompanied by instruments, this theme was used as the soundtrack for the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” set during World War II, where the soldiers whistle this march of Colonel Bogey as they march. It has that boy scout camp vibe that makes it so memorable, don’t you think?
In fact, this song earned its composer the Oscar for Best Original Score in 1957 and is probably the most whistled tune in history, partly because it’s been used on television multiple times.
(Madrid, 1988). Azahara P. Navas has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Complutense University of Madrid and currently works as a language translator with knowledge of English, French, German and Greek.