Sep 25, 2015

Whistle while you work!

My bride told me the other day that there was a spot on the news, that stated whistling is fast becoming a lost art.  I guess I can see that.  It seems like most everyone uses their spare time now with their noses smart phones and tablets.  It used to be that many folks would whistle to pass the time, honing their whistling skills, and personally challenging themselves to get better at whistling their favorite songs and American standards. At least that's how I grew up.  Now, I know many who don't even know how to whistle at all, or have the slightest inkling to whistle (at least for the reasons I do it).

You've heard of the old saying "Whistle While you Work" right?  Well, I'm guilty.. I'm one of those folks who likes to do just that.  Many times, I find myself whistling songs that I'm pretty sure my workmates under the age of thirty may have never heard of.  There's certain ditty's and theme songs that seem like they always have been, and always will be emblazoned upon my memory.  Some of these songs I barely know a verse of, others I can rattle off every word.  I think there's little chance of me ever forgetting any of the songs listed below, and I'm perfectly fine with that.  Here's a short list of songs I regularly whistle..

Listen to the Mockingbird

I can't begin to count the times I've seen or heard this song sung on variety shows, comedies, and cartoons over the years. It was written in 1855, and was one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite songs.  The meaning of the song is pretty somber, having to do with a fellows sweetheart who is now dead and buried, and a mocking bird singing over her grave.  Sounds a bit morbid I know.. but the tempo is incredibly upbeat!   I have great memories of my grandfather singing this song, and then bursting into an enthusiastic whistling solo.   I believe I've also seen Alfalfa from the Little Rascals singing a wonderfully funny and off key version.  It's a catchy tune that always instantly lifts my spirits.

By the light of the silvery moon

I remember being at my grandparents house one cold winter night with my parents, various cousins, aunts and uncles We were all in the living room watching the 1953 movie "By the light of the silvery moon" starring Doris Day, on a beautiful 21 inch black and white Zenith television.  I believe I was reading a Spider Man comic book when almost everyone in the room except for the kids burst out singing this song. I'm not sure if it was the final song of the movie, but it was a nice scene with Doris Day and Gordon MacRae ice skating and singing the movies namesake.

I remember being in awe that everyone knew the lyrics and harmonized pretty good to boot!  Below is a clip of that beloved scene.  ( The song begins at about 57 seconds into the video )  Oh, and for you kids that aren't aware, back in the old days.. stating that you wanted to "Spoon" meant something totally different, and much more innocent.


American Bandstand theme

What an iconic show for both mine and my parents generation!  Sung by Barry Manillow, the shows theme song was incredibly catchy, and I've been whistling it since I was a boy.   If you want to hear the full version of "Bandstand Boogie" set to an incredibly funny street comedy video by comedian George Gallo, you must check this out..

"Drunken Sailor"

I'm no sailor.  I'm not even a son of a son of a sailor.  However, I dig whistling this old sea shanty while hard at work.  While there are numerous version of this song, the basic lyrics are below if you feel like belting it out sometime..

What shall we do with a drunken sailor? (repeat 3 times)
Early in the morning.
Put him in the long-boat and make him bail her. (repeat 3 times)
Early in the morning.
What shall we do with a drunken soldier? (repeat 3 times)
Early in the morning.
Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober. (repeat 3 times)
Early in the morning.

I assure you there are many more songs I regularly whistle and hum to, but perhaps I'll share those another time.

1 comment:

  1. For some reason I never learned how to whistle until much later in life. I felt like that guy from Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

    Now that I can whistle like a pro I always get the evil eye from co-workers if I try to whistle. If you so much as cough weird in the office you are forever shunned!


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