Ladysmith Black Mambazo sings Mbube

I’ve always enjoyed the Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” That “Weemoweh” chorus is the Zulu words “Mbube, uyimbube” – “A lion, you are a lion.”  Turns out the song comes from a South African once-and-future-king legend:

…it refers to an old legend down there, [about] their last king, who was known as Chaka The Lion. Legend says, Chaka The Lion didn’t die when Europeans took over our country; he simply went to sleep, and he’ll wake up some day.

Here’s the whole story at Wikipedia.

Here is Solomon Linda’s original.

The Mahotella Queens add some sweet harmony.

And the late Miriam Makeba’s bluesy version is very nice and smooth.

And finally here’s N’Sync with a cover that will make your teeth hurt. I couldn’t finish listening to it — can you?

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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