Switzerland's Essential Yodeling for Skeptics

By Rachael Funk

Switzerland: home of pristine landscapes, awe-inspiring mountain peaks, cheese, and...yodeling.

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Sure, we’ve all spent hours trying to remember what comes after “high on a hill was the lonely goatherd,” but if your only yodeling exposure is Julie Andrews chasing a gaggle of polite children through the mountains of Austria or this viral triumph, you are missing out.

The history of yodeling is centuries old (at least – some experts agree it can be traced back to the 4th century!) and was used to round up cattle and communicate across the Swiss Alps. Now, it’s just a darn good time. Varying in style from the undulating two-toned Swiss technique to the modus operandi found in American music such as this Patsy Cline standard to Carol Burnett’s unforgettable Tarzan Yell, yodeling is as versatile as a nice Gruyère.

After checking out these videos, you might be inspired to yodel an ay-hee-hoo too!

Oesch's die Dritten is a family band from Bernese Oberland, Switzerland and probably every exasperated parent's daydream when their children aren't getting along. The good natured "jodelfamilie" is very popular and reached the #5 spot on Switzerland's charts in 2016!

What confidence! What charm! What a hat! It’s hard to find someone not having fun yodeling, but from the smile on his face you can tell nobody enjoys Franzl Lang’s yodeling more than Franzl Lang. Sure, this may not be your go-to for feel good music, but it's hard not to grin along with this one.

Who can resist a musical multi-tasker? This yodeler receives full marks for speed, accuracy, and not accidentally swallowing that cigarette.

Ok, maybe rock music with a yodel-y hook isn’t an obvious choice, but Stefanie Hertel’s performance of “Dirndlrock” with an all-female band backing her is super fun. If you just realized European folk music is your jam, check out more clips of the variety show Musikantenstadl for more performances like this!

What’s that you said? You’re kinda into it, but you wish there was a power ballad that mixes pop, yodeling, and the soulful vocals that are in vogue for the music interests of 2017? Don’t worry, friend, we found just the thing. This catchy song is a collaboration between Ilinca and Alex Florea who both participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. It’s on Spotify, too, so you can yodel along in your car when you can't get this song out of your head.

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