Song Lyric Sunday — Hush My Darling

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us songs that feature Lion, Tiger, Bear, Eagle, and Shark, as suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. I’m pretty sure that the song I’m choosing is one that a lot of others will also select. It’s the Token’s song, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was originally written by Solomon Linda under the title “Mbube,” which means lion in Zulu, for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939. The song was recorded by Solomon Linda with his group, The Evening Birds, who allegedly got the idea for the song from when they used to chase lions who were going after the cattle owned by their families.

It became a huge hit across South Africa. Around 1948, Gallo sent a copy to Decca Records in the U.S., hoping to get it distributed there. Folk singer Pete Seeger got a hold of it and started working on an English version. Seeger thought they were saying “Wimoweh” on the original, and that’s what he wrote down and how it was recorded in English. They were actually saying “Uyimbube,” which means “You’re a Lion.” The Weavers’ version, titled “Wimoweh,” hit number 15 on the U.S. best sellers charts in 1952.

In 1961, the Tokens auditioned for producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore by singing “Wimoweh” to them. Hugh and Luigi were impressed by the performance but decided that the song needed new lyrics. With help from George Weiss, Peretti and Creatore rewrote the song, giving it the title “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” In 1961, the version by the Tokens became a number one hit in the U.S. and remains the best-known version of the song.

There have been dozens of covers of “Wimoweh” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” including from artists like Miriam Makeba, The Kingston Trio, Glen Campbell, Robert John, The New Christie Minstrels, Tight Fit, and a host of others.

Here are the lyrics for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Wee-ooh wim-o-weh. Wee-ooh wim-o-weh
Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh
o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh
Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh
o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight

Wee-ooh wim-o-weh
Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh
o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh
Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh
o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh

Near the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps tonight
Near the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps tonight

Wee-ooh wim-o-weh. Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh
o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh
Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh
o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh

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

Whuh whuh whuh wim-o-weh. Wee-ooh wim-o-weh wee-ooh
wim-o-weh wee-ooh wim-o-weh

28 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Hush My Darling

    • Fandango November 21, 2021 / 7:02 am

      Sounds like he’s singing the Zulu-language version. Interesting, but like you, I can’t agree that it’s the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. lssattitudeofgratitude November 21, 2021 / 5:21 am

    I was singing this once and my spouse had never heard the song. He accused me of making up the lyrics. Much later, the song came on the radio, and I had my moment of redemption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie November 21, 2021 / 5:29 am

    This song should be voted the most likely to become a group sing along when it comes on the radio. Great choice, Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor November 21, 2021 / 6:44 am

    Somebody had to add this classic today Fandango. Nice choice.

    Like

  4. willowdot21 November 21, 2021 / 6:47 am

    Best choice ever, I love this song so much for so many reasons …. Dancing round the house now 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CARAMEL November 21, 2021 / 8:24 am

    I nearly chose this one. I love it. We have special memories connected with it. It was also the song we sang at work during the start of the Pandemic to help us de-stress.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen November 21, 2021 / 10:31 am

    Hush-hush, Darlin’; hush hush, Darlin. Hush. Hush…

    No Doubt – Don’t Speak (Official 4K Music Video)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nope, Not Pam November 21, 2021 / 10:49 am

    Songs always seem to be a work in progress

    Liked by 1 person

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