Magazine article The Spectator

Put Your Lips Together and Blow

Magazine article The Spectator

Put Your Lips Together and Blow

Article excerpt

A Brief History of Whistling by John Lucas and Allan Chatburn

Five Leaves, £9.99, pp. 196,

ISBN 9781907869884

Spectator Bookshop, £9.49

Paul McCartney says he can remember the exact moment he knew the Beatles had made it. Early one morning, getting home from a night on the tiles, he heard the milkman whistling 'From Me to You'.

This incident isn't recounted in A Brief History of Whistling. The record in question was a huge pop hit, and these authors prefer to concentrate on working-class culture, folk songs, music hall and the like. They also cover whistling at work (two blasts to your sheepdog for 'go left', one for 'go right'), whistling in science fiction (it's the one human skill that stumps an android in Star Trek) and whistling as language (the messages of the Guanch people of La Gomera in the Canary Islands can be heard five miles away). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.