The Sunday Edition

In search of the urge to yodel

Our documentary explores the complex and adenoidal world of yodelling. And no, it didn’t start with the Swiss yelling about cough drops. From 2011, Frank Faulk’s documentary is called “The Call of the Yodel.”
A yodelling Austrian in knee-length breeches and a red waistcoat, circa 1850. (Original Artist: E Sturtevant; Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Listen21:42

In his book, A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain tells a story about a visit he made to Switzerland.

There he was, sitting quietly in a café, high in the Alps, when a band of strolling Yodelers — clad in lederhosen — stopped by his table and did their thing. Just minutes into the performance, Twain was so affected, he felt compelled to toss the yodelers a franc a piece... to stop yodellling!

Despite Twain's efforts to the contrary, yodelling endures — and not only in the Alps. In fact, it pops up, with shocking regularity, in the hippest of places.

It popped up again last week, when Michael Enright was talking to Hannah Shira Naiman, winner of the prize for Traditional Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. 

This week, we bring you a repeat broadcast of Frank Faulk's documentary, "The Call of the Yodel," which first aired in April 2011.

Click 'listen' above to hear the documentary.