The 15 Best Whistling Songs of All Time – Rolling Stone
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The 15 Best Whistling Songs of All Time

Our picks include ‘Patience,’ ‘Dock of the Bay’ and ‘Young Folks’


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It took whistling to conflate Britney Spears and Andy Griffith — but the refrain on Spears’ ubiquitous single from this summer, “I Wanna Go,” does indeed recall of the theme song of Griffith’s 1960s classic TV series.

Whistling is also prominent in six other songs currently on Billboard’s charts: “Good Life” by OneRepublic, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5, “Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars, “It Girl” by Jason Derulo and “Different” by Ximena Sarinaña.

Ryan Tedder, songwriter and lead singer for OneRepublic, calls the trend nothing less than a “whistle revolution.” Whether haunting or jaunty, whistling can make a song distinctive.

Here are our picks for the 15 best whistling songs of all time.

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J. Geils Band – ‘Centerfold’ (1982)

The whistle is the denouement of this song, which was Number One on the pop charts in 1982. It repeats the same upbeat tune belted out by the band earlier in the song with a resounding, albeit nonsensical, "Na, na, na, na, na, na."

john lennon yoko jealous guy

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John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band – ‘Jealous’ (1971)

On this track from his Imagine album, Lennon whistles the song’s melody at the midpoint. It’s not one of his better-known songs and perhaps not his best work, but it gets a mention because it is, after all, John Lennon.

andy griffith ron howard whistling

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Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer – ‘The Fishin’ Hole (theme to The Andy Griffith Show)’ (1960)

Hagen did the whistling that opened and closed the classic 1960s television series. It’s possibly the most recognized theme song ever.

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