Ever wondered about where the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from the movie “Lion King” came from? Well, it turns out it’s a song from South Africa.
The “Mbube” is a particular genre of music from South Africa that is performed accappella(without the use of instuments). The singer, Miriam Makeba, was well known throughout Africa for her legendary voice. It’s a bit sad that I didn’t know about her, until I actively researched into the origins of the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
I’ve included this song in this blog, because there are so many things about this song that make it special. The singer uses clicks as lyrics for the song, the background singers are pitch perfect as seen during the vocal thirds, the music is so raw and uncut that there is a perfection to it that is hard to find nowadays.
Bonus: Curious about where the “Wimoweh” bit for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” comes from? Well, this track from the Weavers might clear that doubt.
Suffice to say, these two artists influenced the The Tokens to create “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, which became a nostalgic track for people like me who grew up watching “The Lion King”.