Gilligan's Island theme song(s): lyrics, and trivia

[ both that from the original pilot, and from the series ]

Transcribed by Susan Brown

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Gilligan's Island Theme Song [ the Original Calypso, from the pilot ]

In tropical sea is the tropic port,
Vacation fun is the favorite sport,
This is the place where the tourists flock,
Renting the boats at the busy dock.

Two secretaries from U.S.A.
Sail on the Minnow this lovely day.
A high school teacher is next aboard;
All taking trip that they cannot afford.

The next two people are millionaires;
They got no worries, they got no cares.
They climb aboard, and they step inside,
With just enough bags for a 6-hour ride.

Tourists come, tourists go;
Tourists touring to and fro.
These five nice tourists, they take this trip,
Relaxing on deck on this little ship.

The weather is clear, and the sun is hot...[ sound of thunder: kaboom! ]
The weather is clear? I think it is NOT!
Tourists come, tourists go;
Tourists tossing to and fro.

The captain is brave ( Aye! Carumba! What a storm! ).
The captain is brave, he's a fearless man,
And Gilligan help him all that he can.
The wheel, she break, and lose all control;
S.S. Minnow do the rock-and-roll!

The sea is now calm, and the weather grand;
There is the Minnow upon the sand.
What happen now, will give you a smile:
The adventures of Gilligan...and the Skipper...
And the Millionaire... And Mrs. Millionaire...
And the other tourists...on Gilligan's Isle!

[ end credits ]

We leave all our friends on this tropic shore,
Perhaps they will be here, forevermore.
Maybe a rescue will set them free?
Tune in next week, and then you will see!

[ I copied this, years ago, from the when the original pilot aired on TNT, in 1993. I didn't see any credits for the singer nor song writer. But I found this on another site: the singer was Sir Lancelot. The Calypso tune is delightful; but some remark that it is out-of-place, as Gilligan's Island is in the South Pacific, and Jamaica--where Calypso music reigns supreme,-- is in the Atlantic. Producer Sherwood Schwartz had written the now-familiar theme song, with the help of George Wyle, when he'd had a problem selling the CBS network on the show. The new theme better detailed the show's premise--also the "high school teacher" became a college professor, and the "two secretaries" became a movie star and a farm girl. The orginal actors--John Gabriel, who later went on to portray Seneca Beaulac on the soap Ryan's Hope, was replaced by Russell Johnson; and brunette Kit Smythe ( Ginger ), and blonde Nancy McCarthy ( Bunny ) were replaced by Tina Louise and Dawn Welles. Kit Smythe later appeared in "Bewitched" and "Gunsmoke," and is the ex-wife of Denny Miller who appeared in the episode "Big Man on a Little Stick" (February 20, 1965), as "Duke Williams"; and again in 1967 as "Tonga" in "Our Vines Have Tender Apes." Noted it should be, that amongst the many trying for the part of Mary Ann, was a young Raquel Welch. Just a bit later, she'd had two roles in back-to-back major motion pictures: "One Million Years, B.C.," and "Fantastic Voyage."
Tina Louise was recruited, from a good co-starring role in a Broadway play with Carol Burnett. She'd been lied to, by her agent, that Gilligan's Island was a starring vehicle for her! This was to create problems and strife onset.
Sadly, Tina had predictably dissed the popular biopic, 2001's "Surviving Gilligan's Island," on Howard Stern and other shows, failing to understand the worth and value of Natalie Schafer's true age--of 91--having been revealed, as well as her revealation to a friend that she'd had a masectomy. Ms. Louise seems to have her head "up her ass," meaning that she has a narrow view of things! She doesn't get that Ms. Schafer was trying to allay her friend's fears; and that showing this episode in her life only enhances Natalie as a wonderful, courageous, caring person. And revealing her true age--years after her death--does NOT damage her--it only produces awe in her everlasting glamour.
More trivia: "Real" names of the characters: "Willy" is the unused first name of Gilligan; "Jonas Grumby" is the Skipper; "Roy Hinkley Jr" is the Professor; "Summers" is "Mary Ann's" last name; "Eunice Wentworth" is Mrs. Howell's maiden name--but "Lovey" is her nickname, not only to her husband, but to her society friends, such as Zsa Zsa Gabor's "Erika Tiffany Smith" in ep. 51.
Background of Characters:
Mary Ann: Mary Ann had an Aunt Martha and Uncle George back home in Winfield, Kansas.
Guest Stars: Hans Conried ( as Wrongway Feldman, in ep. 5 and 24 ) was the very FIRST guest star, and the FIRST returning character; though Denny Miller played two different characters, in bis appearances--ep 31 and 88. Mel Blanc played the voice of a parrot in ep. 11 and 27; Eddie Little Sky as a witchdoctor, and a headhunter in ep.73 and 78; Vito Scoti, as the Japanese soldier, appeared in ep.15, and again in ep.31 where the castaways remembered events differently--and he later played mad scientist "Dr. Boris Balinkoff" in ep.65, where he switched everybody's conciousnesses, and again in ep.77--so HE holds the record at 4 appearances, and would have had another, had the series entered its 4th season, as a modern-day pirate;
Twins/Lookalikes: Mr. Howell's lookalike was in ep. 62: Will the Real Mr. Howell Please Stand Up?; Gilligan's was a Soviet spy in 70. Gilligan vs. Gilligan; and Ginger's was "Eva Grubb" in "All About Eva," in ep.82. Mary Ann believed that she was Ginger, when she fell and hit her head, in ep.92.
The series' final episode was ep.98. "Gilligan, the Goddess": "King Killiwani" and two other natives come to the island to choose a "White Goddess," to take back to their island to marry a volcano-- and then be sacrificed into it. However, the King falls in love with "Gilliana"--Gilligan in drag, telling "her" that he will throw a dummy into the volcano, instead. But the natives leave without "her," and without rescuing the castaways.
Follow-up Movies:
"Rescue from Gilligan's Island" (1978)
"The Castaways from Gilligan's Island" (1979)
"The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" (1981)
"Surviving Gilligan's Island" (2001)
Portraying the young Dawn Welles in "Surviving Gilligan's Island," was Samantha Harris, later the co-host of "The Next Joe Millionaire, an International Affair."
A cartoon version, The New Adventures of Gilligan,(1974-1977). Most of the original cast did the voices. Mary Ann was voiced by Jane Edwards, and Ginger by Jane Webb.
A later cartoon series, Gilligan's Planet," (1982), again with most of the original cast - including the return of Dawn Wells as Mary Ann AND Ginger! ( oddly, they made Ginger a blonde--despite the name implying red hair! ) ]

Gilligan's Island Theme Song [ from the series ]

[ Note: words and letters in paranthesis "( )" denote differences in the first year of the series ]
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny Ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour.

A three hour tour. [ sound of thunder: crack! ]

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
The Minnow would be lost.

The Minnow would be lost.

The ship's aground on the shore of this
Uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan, the Skipper too,
The Millionaire and his wife,
A movie star, ( and the rest ) the Professor and Mary Ann,
( All ) Here on Gilligan's Isle!

So this is the tale of our castways,
They're here for a long, long time
They'll have to make the best of things,
It's an uphill climb.

The first mate and ( his ) the Skipper too,
Will do their very best,
To make the others comfortable,
In their tropic island nest.

No phone(s)! No light(s)! No motor car(s)!
Not a single luxury,
Like Robinson C-ru-soe, it's primitive as can be.
So join us here each week my freinds,
You're sure to get a smile,
From ( For ) seven stranded castways,
Here on "Gilligan's Isle."

[ Note: the word "Crusoe" is pronounced, in this song, as "Caruso." This of course had caused confusion for me, as a kid. When the title of the book "Robinson Crusoe" came up, I had insisted that it was "Caruso," leaving it to grownups to show me the book, itself!

Of interest: This version of the song was written by show producer Sherwood Schwartz, with George Wyle. The first year's version was sung by The Wellingtons, featuring Les Brown Jr. ( son of Big Band Leader Les Brown and his Reknowns ), who was later to guest in one of the first year's episodes, as "Bingo" of "The Mosquitos," a boy-singing group, modeled on the Beatles--who'd made their big splash in America, only a year earlier. In the episode, "The Mosquitos" had escaped to what they'd thought was a deserted island, to get away from all the "nutty fans."
ep.48: "Don't Bug the Mosquitoes": guest stars: Les Brown, Jr. (Bingo) George Patterson (Bango) Ed Wade (Bongo) Kirby Johnson (Irving)
Kirby Johnson was "the Mosquitos'" drummer--but the Wellington's singer, and later was the musical arranger for a few of Harry Nilsson's albums; Ed Wade and George Patterson were also the group's singers-and Patterson later did mixing, arranging and saxophone for other artist's albums; Les Brown Jr had actually NOT been a member of this group, which was a trio. But in the "Gilligan" episode, they needed a 4th member to imitate The Beatles ( also, Les is an actor, and had most of the lines. He appeared in various series: Green Acres; My Three Sons; Lassie; The Patty Duke Show ). The Wellingtons appeared on "Shindig" and "The Hollywood Palace" in the 1960's. Perhaps they also had done "The Ballad of Davey Crockett" for Disney. One source says that later, Patterson became a psychiatrist and Kirby an attorney; but I will need to confirm that.
The Wellingtons' version had a light, teen sound, with a hula-sounding instrument, called a slack-keyed-guitar. The series' incidental music was different, too. John Williams, who later went on to score such great films as "Star Wars," "E.T.," and all of Steven Spielberg's greatest hits, had done many TV themes, including the title song and incidental music of "Lost in Space."

The later version, heard in the second and third seasons, was credited as having been sung by Gerald Fried ( an man with a deper voice, who might've been double-tracked ). It had a fuller, stereo sound, and was sung in more of a minor chord, than the previous year's. It dumped the hula instrument, but gained more of other instruments, in a fuller orchestral sound. [ perhaps John Williams is responsible for the recording? ]
[ one source says that the latter version was sung by a group called The Eligibles; but the group doesn't list Gerald Fried among them. This group consisted of: Stan Farber, Ron Hicklin, Ron Rolla, Bob Zwin. Ron was one of the four backup-singers of the Partridge Family see Jackie Ward
. Gerald Fried IS listed as a composer for many TV series and movies, though; and specifically for Gilligan's Island. ]
Gilligan episode guide
Dawn Well's Interview
Dawn Well's Interview
Legal Tales from Gilligan's Island


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