Gilligan’s Island Theme

Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle (tab)

There are many American shows I know only by their parodies on other American shows. The Captain and Tennille, Laverne and Shirley and Gilligan’s Island: I’ve sat, stone-faced, through parodies of them all. So when I was asked to tab out the intro to Gilligan’s Island I was a little reticent. Until I heard it and realised it contained a snippet of one of my favourite tunes to play on the ukulele.

The tune is quite unconventional in that it raises a semitone on each repeat. But my favourite part is the interaction between the lyrics and the music that occurs (even if it is done in a rather obvious way). The challenge is to make these parts stand out from the melody and give each it’s own distinctive flavour.

Buy Favourite TV Theme Tunes

You can get the chords on Alligator Boogaloo but, like my version, you’ll have to capo at the first fret if you want to play along with the original. Also, you’ll have to raise the chords on Boogaloo by a semitone in the second verse.

Requested by James

View Comments


  1. James August 22nd, 2007 10:55 pm

    thanks…i’ll learn it asap

  2. p9000 August 23rd, 2007 2:44 pm

    Next, of course, is the 70’s bootleg classic, “Stairway to Gilligan,” combining…yup, you guessed it! Gentlemen, start your (search) engines!

  3. Howlin' Hobbit August 23rd, 2007 3:24 pm

    Gilligan’s Island is part of the US culture. It’s been pretty much continually on the air (somewhere) since it was made.

    Alan Hale was quite the class act. In his later years he spent a lot of time visiting kids in children’s hospitals. He stopped by one day when a young boy was just coming out of the anesthesia from have a brain tumor removed. The boy looked at him unbelievingly for a moment and then said, “Skipper?”

    Mr. Hale said, “That’s right, little buddy. The Skipper’s here and everything’s going to be all right.”

    Anyone reading that who *didn’t* grow up with Gilligan’s Island will probably be going “So?” right about now but the scene just brings tears to my eyes.


  4. Woodshed August 23rd, 2007 8:06 pm

    James: Good luck with it.

    p9000: I’ve just checked that clip on YouTube. Very disturbing.

    Hobbit: I didn’t grow up with Gilligan but that’s a very sweet story.

  5. Michael May 29th, 2012 4:21 am

    Try playing this and singing the words to Amazing Grace, and vice verca.

  6. Woodshed May 29th, 2012 6:35 am

    Michael: Hahaha!

  7. Michael May 29th, 2012 9:49 pm

    It’s great isn’t it? Have you thought of doing tabulation for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s song Bright Lit Blue Skies? I think it would sound awesome on a uke, or uke ensaumble :)

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