Whistle Down the Wind

Meanings of “Whistle Down the Wind”

The phrase “whistle down the wind” means to abandon or leave someone or something.  The phrase is also used when you have to send someone away.

Origin of, “Whistle Down the Wind”

The phrase “whistle down the wind” is said to have its initial traces in Nicholas Harpsfield’s, A Treatise on the Pretended Divorce, published in 1555, where it goes mentioning this marriage that “he was clapped and whistled out at Rome for maintaining this marriage.”

Later, Shakespeare alludes to the same phrase in his most popular playOthello” where it is stated as; “If I do prove her haggard, Though that her jesses [leather straps] were my dear heartstrings, I’ld whistle her off and let her down the wind, To pray at fortune.” Since then, the phrase has been used by various, singers, authors, and poets in their works with or without some changes in it.

Examples from Literature

Example #1

Whistle Down the Wind by Tina Arena

“Whistle down the wind
Let your voices carry
Drown out all the rain
Light a patch of darkness
Treacherous and scary
Howl at the stars
Whisper when you’re sleepy
I’ll be there to hold you
I’ll be there to stop
The chills and all the weeping
Make it clear and strong
So the whole night long
Every signal that you send
Until the very end
I will not abandon you my precious friend.”

The above lines tell how she asks her friend to leave everything that hunts him. He wants him to abandon all the woes and tensions that bite him and stops his enjoying the pleasures of life. The metaphorical language is full of belief that the speaker will never leave him in the lurch. Rather, she will understand his every signal and will never let him down. Thus, the phrase has been used with literal meanings.

Example #2

Whistle down The Wind by David Harris

“There are days when I want to
whistle down the wind
just to blow all my troubles away
so that I can forget them for another day.”

The poet presents the dilemma of a troubled man who tries to knock down his worries but could not succeed. The speaker says that once he decides to whistle down the wind. In fact, he desires to blow his troubles. The choice of words suggests that the unfortunate speaker has been caught in trouble for a long time. That is why he wants to forget them just for some time. The meaning of the phrase has been clarified through this extended metaphor.

Example #3

Whistle Down the Wind by James Fraser

 “One summers day
Gentle stroll
Through the bed of reeds
In natures fold

As i whistle away
A tune unheard
As all around
Whistling like birds

But when i view
None i see
Whats this whistling
That follows me

A gentle breeze
Graces by
The reeds all sway
As if to sigh

Walking on
With widened grin
The reeds and i
Whistle down the wind.”

The poem narrates the speaker’s personal experience that one summer day, he whistled away and in return, heard an enchanting tune. The melodious tune grabbed his attention but he failed to discover why the whistling was following him. Determined to resolve the mystery, he followed the gentle breeze and walked along the swaying reeds. By the end, he stopped following the voice and whistled down the wind. It shows the phrase has been used as a metaphor for leaving something pleasant.

Example #4

Whistle Down the Wind by Mary Hayley Bell

Mary Hayley Bell, in this book, presents us the story of the English farm children who believe that Jesus has come to reside in one of their barns. The book revolves around the amazement, wonder, and conflict of the three young protagonists as they initially try to keep the secret of this stranger to themselves, thinking that telling the adult would be risky. Moreover, they may not trust him; however, toward the end, they decide to whistle down the wind. They trust an adult and spill the beans. Their wise decision provides them solace. The phrase used in the title, show the same meanings as interpreted above.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “After listening to the employee’s hateful speech about me, I decided to whistle down his wind. Now the whole staff hates him.”

Example #2: “Once I discovered that she had plotted against my government. Hence, I had to whistle down the wind.”

Example #3: “Although I have gone through the pieces of evidence that seem illogical, yet your lawyer’s behavior in the court was unjust. Therefore, the judge decided to whistle him down.”

Example #4: “When I found out that the servant had betrayed me, I instantly whistled her down.”

Example #5: “While sitting in the lap of nature, I heard a melodious voice of the nightingale. At first, I tried chasing the melody but ended up whistling down the wind.”