Top 10 Songs with Yodeling

What is yodeling?

The English word yodel comes from the German / Austro-Bavarian word jodeln, meaning "to utter the syllable jo" ("yo" in English). Yodeling is an important feature of folk music in Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany, used in both old and contemporary folk music. The most popular form of this vocal technique is the Alpine yodeling but it's used in many other cultures around the world. Yodeling became popular in the 1830s.

Yodeling (aka yodelling or jodeling) is a singing style characterised by repeated rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch and high-pitch register. High-pitch singing often employs falsetto.

OK, let's sing it fast: Joladadijoladadijoladadijoladadi-jo-o-ooh-jo!

The idea of my list is to show the international spread of yodelling and its use in different music genres as well as in different decades. But I guess Martin_Canine may help with more songs from the area where yodelling originated (Austria, Switzerland and Germany).
The Top Ten
1 Einen Jodler hör i gern - Franzl Lang

It's from the Yodel king Franzl Lang himself, how can it not be the number 1?

2 She Taught Me How To Yodel - Frank Ifield

He's an English-born Australian singer of easy listening and country music who often incorporated yodeling. Lyrics of this song even include some instructions:
"I went across to Switzerland
Where all the Yodellers be
To try to learn to yodel
And met a yodellin' gal
She taught me to yodel

Well now I'm gonna teach you
How to yodel just like me
It's easy when you're singin'
To go yodel-diddly-oh-oh-dee
First you take a deep breath
Then it's K.O. one, two, three
And then you'll hear a yodel
If you listen close to me"

3 De Jodelende Fluiter - Bobbejaan Schoepen

Song title translates to "The Yodeling Whistler".
A song of 1948 by the Belgian musician Bobbejaan Schoepen.
Besides yodeling, he makes other funny noises in this song.

4 Wir sind eine Jodelfamilie - Oesch’s die Dritten

My German is very limited but I think the title translates to 'We Are A Yodel Family'.
Oesch's die Dritten are a contemporary Yodel Volksmusik family group from Switzerland. Their yodeler is a pretty hot woman.

5 Yodel It! - Ilinca

How could I forget this?
Last Song Contest was an awesome one.
The last few years were meh except for Jamala and Conchita Wurst who delivered two of the greatest songs of the decade with their respective winning titles, but this year blew me away. We had a lot of cultural and musical diversity, and not just the uninspired exchangable pop that dominated the last few years.

This is an interesting combination: it's obviously a modern song, with a modern beat, yodeling AND rapping.

6 Heidi - Gitti & Erika

I think this is the most famous song with yodelling in German speaking countries, at least in the big cities.
And that mostly because it served as the title song for the German dub of "Heidi, Girl of the Alps". The Japanese series is a cult classic from my parents' generation that everyone in their age knows in German speaking countries. The fun thing is my generation was raised on anime because series like "Inuyasha", "Pokémon", "Digimon Adventure", "Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne", "Ranma 1/2" and many, many, many more dominated the German T.V. landscape during the daytime from the late 90s to the mid-to-late 2000s. That's why anime is nit regarded as nerdy over here but cool. Nevertheless, even though Heidi is basically an anime and even has popular filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki involved, most people of my generation find "Heidi" embarassing, maybe because it is so harmless, or for the reasons I wrote about on "The Lonely Goatherd".

Well, it's the theme song of a children's T.V. show and especially for that it has a lot of yodelling. Yodelling is generally a what moment for most people, but it fits the tone of the series, which is basically everything archetypical about the Alpine region. The song is a bit of an oddity in the popular German music landscape. And I don't think many people other than schlager fans in my parents' generation like it except for nostalgia (listen to Andrea Berg or Helene Fischer for how schlager sounds like today, it's basically just very light and simple pop with German lyrics, and to Roland Kaiser for what other schlagers sounded like back then, it was more light and soft rock).
Before the 90s, especially in the 70s, the German dubbing artists took many liberties with the dubbing of series and some movies, also with the music they used. "Tom & Jerry" for example has a theme song by much respected singer-composer Udo Jürgens that has... well, nothing at all to do with the series ...more

Thanks for adding this song, Martin. You also explained the context very well.
To me this songs sounds children-friendly compared to some other songs with yodeling I listened to the other day. I mean yodeling in this song is pretty light, it's more like a hint of yodeling. Probably this is one of the reasons it became so popular.

7 Hocus Pocus - Focus

A great song which came out in two versions. A short one which was a single in Australia and received a good amount of commercial airplay, and a long version which I prefer. The band obviously enjoyed playing this classic; a lot of enthusiasm. I reckon they were pretty exhausted at the end of the recording - yodelling at this intensity for this long is no mean feat.

This rock song was released in 1971 and it's a very unusual example of yodeling because usually rock music doesn't include yodeling. Focus are a Dutch rock band.
I like this song because it's fun to hear heavy guitars followed by happy yodeling.
Later the band released "Hocus Pocus 2" which is a faster version.

Literally touched by the lyrics!

I love this song.

8 Chime Bells - Elton Britt

A singer form the US who recorded this song in 1934. He's really very good. His vocal in the 2nd half is wow. That's what I call a sustain - over 20 seconds! He said he learned how to sustain his yodel for an unusually long time while swimming underwater for several minutes at a time.

Greatest yodeler ever in my opinion! Love his singing AND yodeling!

9 Bravour Jodler - Ursprung Buam

Ursprung Buam are an Austrian folk music trio from Tyrol - a popular touring group in Austria that often tours many places across the European Union.

10 Die Jodelsprache - Oesch’s Die Dritten

The yodeling in the intro is very fast.
I am pretty sure the title translates to The Yodel Language.

The Contenders
11 Tennessee Yodel Polka - Slim Whitman & Virginia Lee

Slim Whitman was an American country and western music singer-songwriter who had yodeling abilities.

12 Hocus Pocus - Helloween

This is a metal cover of the Focus song. The legendary German metal band Helloween released their cover in 1999. Who knew a metal singer can yodel! Yes, Helloween singer, Andi Deris, is yodeling!
Don't miss this one - sudden yodeling added to loud and fast metal guitars, and drumming, is very entertaining (at least to me).

13 Wimoweh - Karl Denver
14 Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield
15 Dreams - The Cranberries

The Cranberries are a famous Irish band and in this song their singer Dolores O'Riordan is yodelling.

16 Lovesick Blues - Patsy Cline

She yodels but not very much (compared to the songs that are higher).

Love her voice!

17 Jodel Time - Oesch’s Die Dritten
18 Ku-Ku-Jodel - Oesch’s Die Dritten

Almost the entire song is yodeling. Haha, is this the reason they named this song Ku-Ku-Jodel?

19 The Lonely Goatherd - Sound of Music

I am sorry to disappoint you. I can't really help with that. This is something very tied with traditional folk music you'll at best hear in the Alpine regions, and I live deep in the relatively big city of Vienna (for Austria), which is modern (basically it's a lot like Germany) and has people listening to popular music such as pop, hip hop, schlager or rock. Yodeling is as foreign to us as it is to you. The closest we ever got to that style is German schlager singer Helene Fischer having performed a live ballad version of her ridiculously big hit "Atemlos durch die Nacht" (it's everywhere over here! You can't escape it! And the song was released in 2013 and its success still goes on and on and on and on...) as a duet with a traditional singer who interpolated yodelling into the performance. But I don't think this version is available anywhere.

I am very sure someone from the mountains could name you dozens of traditional yodeling songs. But it's a whole nother world. If you're ...more

20 Back in the Saddle - Aerosmith

Rpemk, I don't hear yodeling in this song. Can you please explain where it is.

21 The Monster - Eminem
22 She Taught Me How to Yodel - Taylor Ware

A Frank Ifield cover by a 12 year old America's Got Talent contestant (circa 2007). She taught herself how to yodel from a tape and an instruction book when she was 7! Wow!
Her audition and other performances are available on YouTube. Her version of this song was also officially recorded and released.

23 Cattle Call - Eddy Arnold
24 Indian Love Call - Slim Whitman
25 Cowboy Yoddle Song - Kikki Danielsson
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