I remember watching ‘The Good Life’ and was fascinated by Tom’s chirpy little whistle. Every time I’d finished watching an episode, I never hummed that catchy theme tune at the start afterwards. I’d always whistle that little trill. Even though he may not have whistled it in a ‘just watched’ episode. Years and years later, I came across a Richard Briers interview. He divulged that the tune was from the song Somewhere over the Rainbow. I was gobsmacked. How come I never realised? The bit that goes:
’If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, Why oh why can’t I?’
Why hadn’t I realised? He whistles half of it. Omits the ending. Which would have made the penny drop. Strange. It’s an incomplete tune for what he dreams and hopes will become a complete lifestyle. Does he have reservations, nerves, it may collapse, fail. Doubts? Worrisome thoughts that they may not ultimately succeed. So he stops half way through unintentionally without realising why. Why that tune? It was certainly linked to his lifestyle choices I’d like to believe. It was his choice for inclusion in the sitcom. Not John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, the writers. An inner psychological inclusion, brought out in melody/lyric form, of his wishes to escape the normality and everyday trudge of life. I’d whistle that little ditty all day long.
I often whistle a song which pops into my head, from out of nowhere, during the day and suddenly realise it’s linked to my situation at the time. A scenario that has just happened or thoughts to what may be experienced later. Usually the sentiment comes from one line of lyric. Not the overall meaning of the song. A line of tune that stabs at that moment in time. If I’m experiencing abdominal discomfort from surgery I once had? Nilsson’s ‘Coconut’ song pops into my head. Every time. When working as a Staff Nurse I kept humming, whistling and singing ‘Follow the Sun’ by the Beatles after a hard day at work. ‘One day, you’ll look, to see I’ve gone, for tomorrow may rain so….I’ll follow the sun’. Escaping the job.
I don’t go around whistling outright. Loud, get on your nerves whistling. Usually alone in a task and not a true whistle. Why? Because I can’t whistle anymore. I’ve lost the capability. Gone forever. Wind with slight gentle rasp whistle inclusion is my extent nowadays. No loud volume. Just hushed and self healing noise for the mind.
Today, tomorrow, next weekend? It could be any ‘whistling song for the day’. Watch ‘Mars Attacks’ by Tim Burton and think of Slim Whitman and whistle ‘Rose Marie’ through a process. Could sing it too though. What kills the Tim Burton comic yet hostile aliens? Slim Whitman’s music. I was very offended! Slim Whitman is one of a few singers that can make me cry. You’d think a voice as pure as his would be clinically and emotionally sterile. No way. Emotion in the voice is portrayed in many ways.
Lyrical content can hit a spot inside your mind that blows you away. I remember sitting in my car, tears rolling down my cheeks when I heard a Morrissey song. ‘Please, please, please, let me get what I want’ and it caught me at a low ebb.
‘See the life I’ve had…..can make a good man….bad’. THAT line.
Oh! Sorry got diverted. Back again to today? ‘Rose Marie’, is a beautiful song. Just a heartfelt love story of one’s feelings of another. I was fascinated by the Andy Kaufman rendition. The presented imagery and initial laughter. Then the song begins and blows the whole comic experience apart. Suddenly, the song becomes everything. No more laughter. Just the song and it’s sentiment. Andy Kaufman genius. Read into this little story what you will. He’s done this for a reason. And you can enquire into your own analysis.
Back to ‘Whistling’. So…….I sat there one morning with my brother’s old guitar from the 1980s. A cheap little affair with his original, now rusty, strings on it. And sat looking at the childrens’ goldfish. I thought of the goldfish whistling their own song for the day. And I quickly wrote and whistled this little tune. I’d forgotten all about it. Made me laugh at the timing when the fish at the end kisses
2 thoughts on “The Whistling Song for the Day”
I am so glad that I am not the only person realting their life experiences to song. When I was a young man goin on my first job interview full of self doubt I hum a song by a little known band called Crack The Sky. The song title and chorus, “Maybe I can Fool Everybody Tonight.” But then experience introduced me to the Peter Principle. The self doubt is gone but the song often finds its way into my thoughts when I face a major change. It still brings comfort when best needed.
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Thanks Danny. Yes. I find that subconscious trip of words into the situation a comforting factor too. As a songwriter and as life gets more experiences under the belt, I also tackle situations by writing lyrics. That Whistling Goldfish tune was my sitting with kids gone to school and my wife to work. So it was decades ago that this went on to a cheap low pixel Olympus digital with a small upload video capability. Just turned it on, played a simple few chords and whistled that quickly written tune. Why? Because it was my brother’s cheap guitar. He died when he was 20 in a car accident. He was the drummer in our band. So I thought he’d like the inanity of writing a ditty like this on this, his own ‘songwriting’ guitar. That tune now is a weird little background noise when I think of him. Bit like your job interview song. They ground you from emotional unpredictability. I’ll go and look up your Peter Principle philosophy and Crack the Sky song. Cheers.
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