Pirates of the Caribbean – Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)

Yo Ho! A Pirates Life for Me (Tab)

I get quite a few requests for tabs, but not so many are made by via the medium of blog post. So when Jason requested this tune in his blog, I couldn’t resist.

Yo Ho (A Pirates Life for Me) was written by George Bruns specifically for the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride in Disneyland (video and mp3 of the full story of the ride and song here). The ride inspired the film franchise of the same name (the first theme park attraction to do so since Barry Island: The Lucky Penny picked up four Oscars in 1973). Inevitably, the success of the film meant a redesign of the ride. You can see Johnny Depp taking the new ride and playing with himself here.

The tune itself is a camped up version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s already fairly camp Dead Man’s Chest. PotC did, however, inspire a more musically worthy project. The film inspired Depp and, director, Gore Verbinski to put together an album of modern interpretations of sea shanties called Rogue’s Gallery.

It’s quite a tricky tune to play. You have to play the same note over and over quite quickly. It makes it easier if you divide up the notes between strings (picking the G-string with your thumb). There are a couple of ways to approach it. You could strum the chord with your index finger (and pick the A-string with it too) or you could give each finger a string and pluck them all together (so your ring finger would be picking the A-string). The second option gives you more control but the first will give more rasp to the chords.

Buy the MP3

View Comments


  1. Ian February 11th, 2008 1:28 am

    ’tis a fun tab.

  2. zym February 13th, 2008 9:04 pm

    surely you mean,

    Yarrr, ’tis a fun tab?

  3. nurzaman khan March 15th, 2009 5:00 am

    i’d highly b delighted n overwhelmed if someone post me the chords, notes no tabs n strumming pattern for the song a pirates life for me.

  4. Michael April 5th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Hey, as a new uke player of 2 and a bit weeks… I’ve used your site to learn 5 songs :) I reckon it’s the best out there!! Thanks heaps!

    I thought I better let you know… take a guess who comes up first when you type “Pirates of the Caribbean ukulele” into Google?? :D Congrats mate!

  5. Woodshed April 5th, 2010 12:55 pm

    Michael: Thanks! That was my main ambition when I started the blog.

  6. amber July 30th, 2011 7:19 pm

    so i have been searching the internet far and wide for the notes to this song… i want to play it on my concertina ( kinda like an accordion) and of course i find it for a ukulele well my boyfriend will be happy because he plays but it still has alas not helped me

  7. Ruth June 11th, 2012 8:13 pm

    could u do the theme for doctor who plz? it would be very helpful! :-)

  8. Woodshed June 13th, 2012 2:30 pm

    Ruth: I do keep meaning to do that one.

  9. Jerm March 16th, 2015 4:53 am

    Hello, love your site! How do you have your fingers placed on the “4 +” of the first measure. I can’t seem to figure out the best way to transition through these chords even by watching the video, which has been very helpful. Thanks!

  10. Woodshed March 16th, 2015 7:53 am

    Jerm: I finger the x565 just like a G chord and x553 just like an Eb chord. It is a tricky section to get down.

  11. Rebekah August 31st, 2015 12:50 am

    This defiantly reminds me of Disneyland.

  12. Andrea Q. October 3rd, 2015 9:01 pm

    Awesome! very cheerful tab :)

  13. Woodshed October 3rd, 2015 9:43 pm

    Andrea: Thanks!

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now