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Whistling an indication of happiness

Submitted by Jack Cullen - January 25, 2019

On a recent evening I was watching and listening to a bluegrass concert with Andrew Bird and he whistled during several songs. That brought to mind that whistling doesn't seem to be as prevalent as it once was in our culture. If so, why?

I recall several renown whistlers and their signature songs: Fred Lowery ("The High and the Mighty"), Elmo Tanner ("Heartaches"), and Tex Beneke, who sang with his own band and whistled while doing "Chattanooga Choo Choo." And nearly everyone recalls those marvelous American ambassadors, the Harlem Globetrotters, doing their amazing ball handling and dribbling drills to the tune of "Sweet Georgia Brown," which contained some great whistling.

There was a radio program, "The Whistler," a crime fighter, and bad guys trembled when they heard him coming.

Usually, whistling was an indication of contentment or happiness (unless you were whistling past a graveyard). It was mostly a guy thing, but there were some gals who could whistle as well as any guy ... or better (need to mollify the ladies).

I knew a brick mason who whistled church hymns ("Amazing Grace," "Old Rugged Cross") while he worked. He always seemed to be smiling.

All together now, let's whistle a happy tune.