Some Can Whistle: A Playlist To Don't Worry, Be Happy

Categories: Pop Life

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It's often the little things that make our favorite songs our favorites - the curious, unforeseen additions of small touches like an understated bit of whistling. For those who like to categorize their playlists into themes, we present you with the Rocks Off approved Whistle Playlist.

The Scorpions, "Wind of Change":

This 1990 track from Germany's Scorpions oozes "power ballad." Luckily, it was among the last singles from the '80s hair-band movement--though we still hold a nostalgic appreciation for that classically cheesy whistle intro.

The Pogues, "Jesse James":

Though it's nearly drowned out by fiddles and the tin whistle, a short whistling riff can be heard around the 2:30 mark of this track from the Irish rockers' 1985 album Rum Sodomy & the Lash.

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The Smiths, "How Soon Is Now?":

Whistling makes its brief appearance in this brooding Smiths classic at the 4:30 mark. Originally the B-side of 1984 single "William, It Was Really Nothing," "Now" reappeared on 1985's Meat Is Murder and became (arguably) the Manchester mopers' best-known song.

Beck, "Sissyneck":

A jocular whistle riff opens this 1996 Odelay track.

Built to Spill, "Broken Chairs":

A whistling riff makes an unforeseen entrance in this otherwise gritty rock song from the Idaho band's 1999 album Keep It Like a Secret.

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Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry, Be Happy":

This lighthearted 1988 single defines music's whistle accompaniment; the song was the first a cappella recording to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Loose Fur, "The Ruling Class":

A bouncy whistle riff carries this merry Born Again in the USA tune, from the side project of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Glenn Kotche and collaborator Jim O'Rourke.

Paul Simon, "Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard":

From the singer-songwriter's 1972 self-titled album, the song has appeared on the soundtracks to such films as The Royal Tenenbaums and Real Women Have Curves.

Maria McKee, "If Love Is a Red Dress":

Introduced to us via the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, this haunting country song reels listeners in with its bare-boned vocals and languid whistle riff.

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My whistling is quite advanced; my Wind of Change whistle is unparalleled.

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