Opus: Live is Life for ukulele

On my first trip to Europe, I heard a song in the Greek islands that roused me to get up and dance. Because I heard it everywhere, it became the single defining song of my first backpacking trip as an independent solo traveller.

Every time I hear it, I think of the three amazing weeks I spent in Athens, Mykonos, Naxos, Kalamata, and Corfu. I left Greece reluctantly, for I still had to travel through Italy, Switzerland, and France to get to England in time for summer school. My lips were so sun scorched that I fled to Florence to shade from the sun and sea.

Scorched in Corfu, Greece

A year later in London, at my hostel near Sadler Wells Theatre on Rosebery Avenue, I met a blonde chemistry post-graduate student who looked like Robert Redford. We went for a Thai dinner and the movie “Aliens” at a big screen cinema in Leicester Square. In conversation, I mentioned the song I heard in Greece. He exclaimed that Opus was an Austrian band and that he was from Austria.

Shortly after we parted ways, he sent me a cassette of the song. This very act alone, long before the the age of mobile phones, Internet, Youtube, Spotify, and e-mail, committed that song to my lasting memory.

Sadly I forgot his name but I’ve never forgotten my quest to play and sing this song that makes me feel so alive. As I wasn’t sure the exact title of the song or the verses, it took me a long time to find the song on the Internet. In writing this blog post, I finally got clarity about the title, but still not sure about the lyrics because it really sounds like “life is life” throughout the song.

As I’ve not found the sheet music to “Live is Life,” I am nonetheless glad that I can accompany myself on the ukulele using the simple chords of Am, Dm, and G while following the recording on Chordify. The lyrics can be found at any number of websites, such as Justsomelyrics and Flashlyrics.

Actually, I have all I need to create a song sheet for my ukulele club.


[Percussion 4 bars of 4/4]

|Am Am Dm Dm | G G G G | x 2

[Am]   [Dm]      [G]
     Na na na na na

[Am]   [Dm]      [G]
     Na na na na na

[Am]   [Dm]      [G]
     Na na na na na (all together now)

[Am]   [Dm]      [G]
     Na na na na na

[Am]   [Dm]      [G]
     Na na na na na

[Am]    [Dm]      [G]
Life (Na na na na na)   Life is

[Am]    [Dm]      [G]
Life (Na na na na na)   Labadab dab dab

[Am]    [Dm]      [G]
Life (Na na na na na)   Liiiiiiiife

[Am]   [Dm]     [G]
     Na na na na na

        [Am]        [F]
When we all give the power

   [Dm]         [G]
We all give the best
      [Am]         [F]  
Every minute of an hour
      [Dm]            [G]
Don't think about the rest
        [Am]        [F]
And you all get the power

    [Dm]        [G]
You all get the best
     [Am]          [F]
When everyone gets everything
    [Dm]           [G]
And every song everybody sings
         [Am]    [Dm]      [G]
And it's life (na na na na na)
        [Am]    [Dm]      [G]
Life is life (na na na na na)
        [Am]    [Dm]      [G]
Life is life (na na na na na)

                [Am]    [Dm]      [G]
Labadab dab dab life (na na na na na)

My first attempt at a song sheet is still work in progress, as I’m not entirely sure if it’s always “Live is life” or sometimes “Life is life” or “Life is live.”

Which format do you prefer of the three-page PDF song sheet with the lyrics and chords?

  1. The above layout with chords above the lyrics?
  2. Courier New Font with chords embedded in the lyrics
  3. Ukulele Wednesday Format with chords embedded in the lyrics
  4. Balham Ukulele Society Format with chords embedded in the lyrics
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