The Lion Sleeps Tonight song by The Tokens

Did you know?

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is a classic song originally recorded by The Tokens. Here are some details about the song:

Background:

  • Artist: The Tokens
  • Release Date: 1961
  • Genre: Doo-wop, pop
  • Label: RCA Victor

Origins:

  • The song has its roots in South African Zulu music. It was adapted and reinterpreted by various artists over the years.
  • The original South African song, “Mbube” (meaning “lion” in Zulu), was written and recorded by Solomon Linda in 1939.

The Tokens’ Version:

  • The Tokens, an American doo-wop group, recorded their version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1961. The song was based on the Weavers’ 1952 version titled “Wimoweh.”
  • The Tokens’ version features a catchy melody, harmonized vocals, and a distinctive falsetto part that became a signature element of the song.

Chart Performance:

  • The Tokens’ rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” became a major hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States in 1961.
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Legacy:

  • The song has endured as a classic and has been covered by numerous artists in various languages and musical styles.
  • It has been featured in movies, TV shows, commercials, and other forms of popular culture, contributing to its lasting impact.

Cultural Impact:

  • “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is perhaps best known for its appearance in Disney’s “The Lion King,” where it was featured as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The Tokens’ version is not featured in the film, but the song’s melody and elements are incorporated into the movie’s soundtrack.

Solomon Linda’s Legacy:

  • The original composer of “Mbube,” Solomon Linda, initially received little recognition or compensation for his composition. In later years, efforts were made to acknowledge his contribution, and posthumously, his family received some restitution for the song’s widespread success.

In summary, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens is a classic doo-wop rendition of a song with deep roots in South African music. Its catchy melody and harmonies have made it a timeless and widely recognized piece, with a significant cultural impact over the years.

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Video

Lyrics

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)In the jungle, the mighty jungle
The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle, the quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)Near the village, the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village, the quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)

Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight

(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)

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