The Tabernacle Choir Blog

“Whistle While You Work” and “Heigh Ho!”—Two Songs That Helped Create a Cornerstone for Disney

Music has a power for uniting people unlike anything else. People from all over the world and different cultures can be united with the power of music, even in the workplace. Music has been known to improve team spirit and provide feelings of happiness for workers in times of stress or hardship. The song “Whistle While You Work” is a perfect illustration of how we can emphasize the fun rather than the monotony of work. It written by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey for the famous Disney animation film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

“Heigh Ho!” was also written by Churchill and Morey and is still one of Disney's most popular songs. The term Heigh-Ho hearkens back to 1553 when it was defined as an expression of yawning, sighing, or weariness. The 1937 song very well fits with this old definition as the seven dwarfs sing after a hard day's work in the mine as they trudge home, weary and bone tired.

Both of these songs helped Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs win an Academy Honorary Award as a significant screen innovation at the 11th Academy Awards where Walt Disney received a full-size Oscar statuette and seven miniature Oscars from the Academy. The animated feature was also nominated for Best Musical Score.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made a number of the American Film Institute’s lists, including top 100 movies, top ten greatest U.S. films, top 100 villains, top 100 songs (“Someday My Prince Will Come”), and was nominated for top 100 movie quotes and for greatest movie musicals.

The video above features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing "Whistle While You Work/Heigh Ho!" during the 2014 Pioneer Day concert. This medley is also included on the Choir's 1981 album When You Wish Upon a Star

The above photo of the Choir in Disney World was taken in 2001 during Disney Magic Music Days.