Nick Heyward: Whistle Down The Wind

Whistle Down The Wind - single front cover

Out the window
look what’s happening…

I’m not even going to describe this as a ‘guilty pleasure’. I don’t subscribe to that kind of categorisation. This is just a great song and it’s one of a few that has a Tardis-like power to take me back to a specific time and place.

Whistle Down The Wind - single back cover

It’s early 1984, I’m in my bedroom in a house on a council estate in south Leeds. My knackered old turntable bought from a car-boot sale is playing a 7-inch single I bought from Morrison’s, priced down now it had fallen out of the charts, and I’m looking at the back cover of the record and trying to make sense of the enigmatic lyrics. “Out the window, bring me back my rose I gave away.” What’s he on about? And it wasn’t a punk or a rock song, which had been almost the only records I’d bought since I first got into music. It had a proper tune and even some instruments that weren’t electric guitars, and he was singing rather than sneering or growling or wailing like Dave Vanian or Biff Byford did. It was the sort of thing my nan might even approve of. This was a new and slightly alarming development, but there was something about it, something about the photo of the snow-spattered hills and the collapsing fence, and the mood of the song and the state of mind I was in at the time – going on 16, confused about family and girls and everything that was going on in my life – that allowed for an epiphany of sorts, one that allowed me to understand something about the real me that had previously been hidden. And after that realisation I was never the same person. Something had changed, something I couldn’t even describe, but I knew how it felt. Every time I hear this song I am taken back to that day, that moment, and it’s bittersweet and beautiful.

Nick Heyward – Whistle Down The Wind


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