7/10/2013 Update: Well, it's happened again. My MIDI file has turned up on the album "8-Bit Arcade: The Themes from Disney" for sale in iTunes... Without my permission, of course.
Here is the e-mail I sent on July 10th, 2008, telling the story to some of my friends:
Eons ago, I did a MIDI of Pirates... You can find it (and a second version, adding a bass line), on my site:
But that's not important right now.
I was at a fast food place a few months ago. All of the sudden, I heard the Pirates of the Carribean theme song playing, and I thought it was someone else with a ring tone like mine. I looked around and no one was grabbing their phone, but in the corner they had this crane game in the corner with prizes in it. It was pirate themed (see photo).
As it played the song, which I thought was cool, I thought ... "hey, that sounds like the one I did!" I ran over to it and listened closely, and identified the steel drum I used in my MIDI for the vocal line. There is no steel drum in the real Yo Ho song, so hearing it in this version made me suspect it was from my MIDI. The accordion part, too, sounded just like mine.
So, today I went back and recorded it. Attached is an audio file, first of the game, then of my MIDI file played on top of it. It IS my version. Pretty cool, huh?
I wonder if they paid royalties to use the tune in their game? Prolly not ;-)
Play this: YoHoRipoff.mp3
I did some searching and found a distributor of this game, and wrote them asking who actually made it. They replied telling me "Smart Industries." I looked them up, and found out that they were actually based right here in Des Moines, Iowa! It's a small world, after all!
I contacted them on 7/30/2008, and will update this page with more details when I hear back.