Today we are taking a look at the Best Rock Songs with Whistling. It’s hard to believe that whistling is often overlooked when it comes to adding vocal or instrumental harmony in musical performances. Yet, there are many rock songs with whistling prominently featured! Here are 10 best rock songs with whistling.
Supertramp ‘Goodbye Stranger’ (1979)
Starting off our list ‘Goodbye Stranger’ by Supertramp. It was released in 1979. The lyrics were written by the group’s lead singer, Roger Hodgson and the whistling segment is performed by him.
The song is about growing apart from a friend that you used to share everything with, even your dreams. It starts with a slow melody and gradually becomes more upbeat as it gets near the end of the song.
The whistling section starts at about two minutes into the song and lasts for approximately another two minutes before it becomes more upbeat.
Bobby McFerrin – ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ (1988)
Though not a rock song, I could not make a list of songs about whistling and not include ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. Here is a little song that Bobby McFerrin wrote. It was released in 1988 and the lyrics are designed to be interpreted as an instruction not to worry about anything. The song became McFerrin’s signature tune and it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1988.
Paul Simon ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ (1972)
‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ is a 1972 song by Paul Simon. The song is about two low-level players on the American basketball team. It has one of the most famous whistling portions in a rock song, performed by Simon himself.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – ‘Home’ (2010)
‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes is one of their signature songs and it was released in 2010. It has a catchy tune and the lyrics were written by Alex Ebert, who also sings it. The song is about losing your home. The whistling that’s featured throughout the song provides a haunting feel to the song and makes it one of the best rock songs with whistling.
David Bowie ‘Golden Years’ (1975)
‘Golden Years’ was written and performed by David Bowie. The song was released in 1975 as a single from the album “Fame”. The lyrics were written by Bowie, and the whistling segment features one of his best vocals.
The song is about living life to its fullest and enjoying and appreciating every moment. It’s a song about really living your life and not worrying too much about what may happen in the future.
Top 5 Rock Songs with Whistling
John Lennon ‘Jealous Guy’ (1971)
Starting off our top 5 Rock songs with whistling is ‘Jealous Guy’ by John Lennon. The song was released in 1971 and it features one of his best vocals.
The lyrics were written by Lennon and the whistling segment was performed by him. The song has a catchy tune and it’s about jealousy and learning to move on from the past and not letting it get you down.
The Black Keys – ‘Tighten Up’ (2010)
‘Tighten Up’ is a song by the Black Keys. It was released in 2010 and it’s one of the more popular songs on this list. The whistling is performed by Pat Carney, Jr., drummer for the band. He starts whistling around the 0:40 mark of the song and continues until 1:12. The whistling provides a whimsical feel to what would otherwise be an angry rock song.
Scorpions – ‘Winds of Change’ (1991)
‘Winds of Change’ was released in 1991 by the German rock band Scorpions. It’s one of their signature songs and it’s been covered many times by many different artists. The song was written to commemorate the changes occurring in Eastern Europe, namely at the Berlin Wall. It has one of the most memorable whistling performances in a rock song.
Guns N’ Roses – ‘Patience’ (1989)
One of the most notable whistling performances in a rock song is Guns N’ Roses ‘Patience’. The song was released in 1989 and features one of Axl Rose’s best vocals. The open whistling is performed by Axl and provides one of the most memorable moments of the song.
Otis Redding – ‘Dock of the Bay’ (1968)
Our number one song with whistling is of course ‘Dock of the Bay’ by Otis Redding. He recorded it in 1968 and it was released in January 1969. The song became one of his signature tunes and when released, it reached number one on the US charts and number two on the UK Singles Chart.
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The song tells the story about a man who wanders around in search of shelter without any luck. Everyone tries to tell him that he needs to find himself an apartment, but he just can’t seem to settle down.
The whistling section in this song starts at just over two minutes into the song and runs for approximately another minute and a half before the music cuts out completely.
Whistling is one of the most beautiful sounds in music, and it’s often overlooked when it comes to adding vocal or instrumental harmony. Yet whistle performances can be some of the best rock songs out there! From Paul Simon performing a whistled passage on Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard to David Bowie’s haunting version on Golden Years, these 10 best rock songs with whistling are sure to please any fan.
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