“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by Tight Fit

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was composed by an early 20th century South African named Solomon Linda (1909-1962), who by the way was an actual lion hunter. Or more specifically, he came from a tribe which owned livestock and accordingly were tasked with chasing away lions who threatened their livelihood. So the lyrics expressed in this song were quite literal as far as he was concerned. And whom the singer is addressing appears as if it is a child or someone, a “darling”, who is under his protection. 

And simply put, what he is telling this person is that they don’t have to worry about “the lion” this particular night because he is somewhere away from the ‘quiet, peaceful village’, resting peacefully himself. Indeed the track reads in many regards like a lullaby, i.e. one which is meant to induce a tranquil nighttime state in the recipient.

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” Facts

The track was released by Tight fit in 1982 as part of the album ‘Tight Fit’. The song was however originally worked on by Solomon Linda in 1939. At the time it was in Zulu and titled ‘Mbube’.

In the same year Tight Fit released their version, it made it to the top of the chart in the United Kingdom.

George David Weiss, an American Lyricist was the first to write the song in English.

Tight Fit was not the only group to release a variation of the song. The Tokens, Miriam Makeba and Henri Salvador among others covered the song.

A journalist by name Rian Malan once mentioned that the track in itself was not really as special as the chant that included howling and yodelling. He believed it was one of the reasons the song took off.

The song reached further the more different artists created renditions of it.

The title of the song ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight ‘ has been used in different meme especially to signal danger.

Tight Fit got the track on chart boards in different countries across the world including Germany, Belgium, Ireland among others and they were usually in top positions.


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