My apologies in advance, but I fear this week’s list may end up alienating your co-workers, annoying many of your friends and antagonizing most of your family.
That’s because this is a list of whistling songs, and you’ll probably drive them all nuts if you go around whistling — or even humming — some of these hypnotic melodies. Many of these are actually wonderful songs, but that doesn’t mean would-be whistlers will be well-received.
So, be forewarned. This, of course, is just a whistling sampler, so feel free to add some more songs in the Comment section below.
We’ll start with — what else? — a Disney classic that lays out a useful (if potentially disruptive) 9-to-5 office philosophy:
• “Whistle While You Work,” from 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
And then I’d offer two high-energy instrumentals:
• Don Robertson’s “Happy Whistler,” a song so relentlessly upbeat that folks will instantly ask — or force — you to leave the room.
• Whistling Jack Smith’s infectious “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman,” complete with multiple images in this video.
And two powerful movie themes:
• Les Baxter’s “Theme from ‘The High and the Mighty,’ ” from the 1954 John Wayne film.
•Mitch Miller’s “March From the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey,” from the 1957 film “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”
Some, as you might expect, ooze happy thoughts:
• Pat Boone’s mega-hit “Love Letters in the Sand.”
• Jack Ross’ “Happy Jose (Ching-Ching).”
• Jimmie Rodgers’ “Tucumcari.” (Well, at least it ends on a happy note!)
A bit downbeat (or worse)
Some, to varying degrees, have sadder messages:
• Two from Guy Mitchell: “Singing the Blues” and “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”
• Gene Pitney’s “Only Love Can Break a Heart.”
• The Weavers’ “Around the Corner,” a downbeat message but with a very up-tempo tune.
Others offer food for thought:
• Roger Whittaker’s “New World in the Morning.”
• Otis Redding’s classic “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.”
• Glenn Yarbrough’s bittersweet “The Honey Wind Blows,” a favorite of mine.
And two way-out ‘Whistles’
Actually, neither of these is a whistling song, but both come from Broadway superstar composers’ musical flops. And both have the word “whistle” in their titles.
• From Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Whistle Down the Wind” (based on the 1961 movie), the most successful song was Boyzone’s recording of “No Matter What,” which became a massive worldwide hit.
• From Stephen Sondheim’s unsuccessful “Anyone Can Whistle,” the best-known song is “Everybody Says Don’t.” It’s performed here by Barbra Streisand as part of a medley, sandwiched between two stage megahits: Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” from Barbra’s Broadway debut, “Funny Girl.”