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The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

Cover for The Lion Sleeps Tonight by the doo wop group from Brooklyn The Tokens

Doo Wop

The golden oldie “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens, a doo wop style vocal group, has an interesting history. Also known as “Wimoweh” or “Wimba Way,” this song was originally recorded by South African Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds in 1939 and called “Mbube.” The lyrics were in Zulu. There were many covers, including those by Jimmy Dorsey, The Weavers, Miriam Makeba, and The Kingston Trio. In 1961, the version by the doo-wop group The Tokens went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B Chart. Many people today know the song via Walt Disney’s The Lion King. The Tokens were from Brooklyn, NY, and originally had singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka as one of their members. He left the group in 1957. Group personnel changed over the years, but for this record, the members included Jay Siegel, Hank Medress, Mitch Margo, and Phil Margo with Joe Venneri on guitar. The Tokens were also record producers of several artists, including The Chiffons, Randy & The Rainbows, The Happenings, and Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Here are the lyrics:

” Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh
Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh

(A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh)
(A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh)

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

Near the village the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village the quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

Hush my darling don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldie Juke Box Saturday NIght, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop.

1 Comment

  1. […] If you are interested in reading and listening to another song by The Tokens, please click here for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” […]

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