Pirates of the Caribbean Ride Theme Song Lyrics

Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)

Barttle scene in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
••• There's plenthy of yo-ho-ing going on throughout the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Disney. Used with permission.

It's one of the highlights of a visit to Disneyland or Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most beloved theme park rides anywhere. And, of course, it inspired an incredibly popular series of films -- whose characters, in turn, have been incorporated back into the ride.

There are many reasons why the Pirates ride is so wonderful. (I rate it among the top five best park attractions.) Chief among them is its endearing theme song.

The song, by the way, is featured in the Pirates films, The Curse of the Black Pearl and At World's End.

"Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" is one of the most famous songs to ever grace a ride (second probably only to the "it's a small world" tune -- and considerably less annoying). Sure, it's all in great fun, but the words to the song are a bit salty, particularly by Disney's usual squeaky-clean standards. Sing along with the rascals and scoundrels the next time you set sail with them. Drink up me 'earties, yo ho!

"Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)"
Lyrics by Xavier X. Atencio, and music by George Bruns

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We extort, we pilfer, we filch, and sack,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle, and even high-jack,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We kindle and char, inflame and ignite,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.

We're rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We're beggars and blighters, ne'er-do-well cads,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.

About the Song's Lyricist

Xavier X. Atenico, a Disney Imagineer who also wrote the script for the original ride, penned the Pirates of the Caribbean song lyrics. Like many of the early Imagineers, Walt Disney recruited Atenico from the animation department at the company's studio to work on Disneyland.

Among his work prior to designing park attractions, the talented artist contributed to classic films such as Fantasia.

In addition to his work on Pirates, Atenico helped create the Primeval World diorama, which passengers see aboard the train as they circle Disneyland (and which was originally part of one of Disney's attractions at the 1964 New York World's Fair). Although he was primarily an animator and an artist, Atenico ended up collaborating on a number of songs for Disney attractions. Other song credits include “Grim Grinning Ghosts” for the Haunted Mansion and the music for (the since closed) Adventure Thru Inner Space.

More Pirates of the Caribbean