Paul Simon did his version of "The Lion Sleeps" based on Pete Seeger's Americanized verison of "Mbube". Seeger heard "Mbube" on an imported 78 rpm record brought into the U.S. in 1949 by his...
In the jungle,
The mighty jungle
The lion sleeps tonight

In the jungle,
The quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight

Imbube...

Near the village,
The peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight

Near the village,
The quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

ohh... wowoh..

Hush my darling,
Don't fear my darling,
The lion sleeps tonight

Hush my darling,
Don't fear my darling,
The lion sleeps tonight, eh eh!

wowoh...


Lyrics submitted by rom, edited by shunka

The Lion Sleeps Tonight song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentObviously many artists have covered this one. It even appeared in Aladdin.

    In africa, man & beast have a truce? No, that's probably not it. I don't _know_ what it means, could someone else please post their opinion..
    SMUSER26982on July 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that the lion is an abuser, and "darling" is the person being abused. The singer is consoling the "darling" saying that she won't get abused that night. The jungle is the place where the abuse takes place.

    Eh... just my guess.
    Jules_6514on June 15, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, i didn't know paul simon wrote this song, but then again, it doesn't really surprise me.
    findsomepeaceon August 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe didn't. Just because it's under his name here doesn't mean he wrote it.

    It was actually written by Solomon Linda & The Evening Birds in 1939.
    oballon October 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmmmm wow i thought it was by Three Dog Night, hmm good song none-the-less
    Sandman3987on January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentif by aladdin, you mean the lion king, then yes, timon and pumbaa sing it. what a great movie.
    kojion October 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought it was 'PUSH my darling, don't fear my darling', rather than 'HUSH my darling', and therefore was some kind of childbirth chant...(!) I thought it was a really lovely one too, what with the husband comforting and encouraging the wife.
    catherinesparkon October 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFolks, don't look for too much hidden meaning, other than "you are safe in bed, and nothing can harm you now". It is a simple African lullaby (always traditionally a popular form of song in Africa). And yes, it was written by Solomon Linda, who at the time was a messenger for a large record company in Johannesburg.He sold it to them for a nominal fee, around 100 pounds (which, to him at the time must have seemed like a fortune). In later years his descendants have successfully sued for back royalties and been paid out millions.
    yonatanton May 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt refers to the Cuban-Russian Missile Crisis.
    Cuba is the jungle.
    Russia is the lion.
    It describes the tension and fear at the time of the war
    chigginskingon November 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis was written as an Apartheid protest song. Shaka Zulu was nicknamed 'The Lion', due to his military prowess. There was a legend when he died that he wasn't actually dead, he was only sleeping, and when his people needed him most he would rise up and destroy their oppressors. The Zulus were obviously oppressed during Apartheid, so the song is saying that even though times are dark (it's night time in the song), there's no need to fear as the lion (Shaka Zulu) is only sleeping. The implication is that when he wakes he will free his people from oppression. Apart from the poetry, the song had to be encoded like this otherwise the Apartheid government would never allow it to be recorded.
    ninjanevon July 06, 2018   Link

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