Program #1084

Arguably the most popular song in our Theme and Variations series has gone by several names. It's often recorded under the title, "Wimoweh," but the original South African Zulu hunting song was called "Mbube." Yet most people think of the Tokens' classic 1961 doo-wap hit, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," as well as its more recent appearance in the soundtrack to the Lion King. We hear the original version from South Africa from the 1930s. From there we sample artists as diverse as Pete Seeger, Brian Eno, the classical chorus Western Wind, the rock band They Might be Giants, and others.

Program #1084 Theme and Variations: The Lion Sleeps Tonight (original N.Y. airdate Thurs. 9-22-94)





Mbube Roots

Zulu Choral Music, 1930's-1960's

S. Linda: "Mbube" {3:00}

Rounder #5025.** also available through*

The Weavers

Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

"Wimoweh" {2:00}

Vanguard 2-CD set #3021/22. In most better folk stores, also available through*

The Tokens

Oldies are Now

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" {3:00}

B.T. Puppy Records #0519. In most record srores, usually filed with "oldies", or available at*

Brian Eno

Vocal (box set)

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (Wimoweh) {3:00}

EG/Virgin #ENOBX-2. Available as an import in some better stores, or try*

Earl Mankey

Earl Mankey

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" {2:30}

Select Records #21609. Out of print.

They Might Be Giants

Apollo 18

"The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" {3:30}

Elektra #61257.** Or available at*


Life After Death

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" {6:30}

Maitre' D Rec's #105. or Maitre' D Rec's c/o R.Flatow, 70 East 10 Street, Apt. 8B N.Y., N.Y. 10003 U.S.A

Manu Dibango


"Wimoweh" {4:30}

Giant/Warner Bros. #24566.** Available for purchase at*

Washboard Jungle

The Wash Cycle

"The Washboard Sleeps Tonight" {4:00}

Washboard Jungle (#002) OR write to Henry Hample, Washboard Jungle, 520 East 12th Street, #2B New York, NY 10009

Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger

Precious Friend

"Wimoweh" (Mbube) {2:30}

Warner Bros LP #2 BSK-3644. Reissued on CD, and available through*

The Weavers

At Carnegie Hall

"Wimoweh" {2:00}

Vanguard #V5D-9010**, available through*

The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble

An Almost A Capella Songbook

"Wimoweh" {2:30}

Western Wind Rec's ( #2002)
263 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024, 212.873.2848 (voice), 212.873.2849 (fax), 800.788.2187 (order Hotline)

The Tokens

Oldies are Now

Winoweh {1:00}

See above

*, ** Find the recordings you've heard - go to the New Sounds Recordings Information page