anatomy of a song

[ed. note: this post originally was found as skippy’s wednesday nite music club last nite]

via the magic of youtube, we can take a look @ the various incarnations of a song that we all know and love. we thought it would be interesting to show you the history behind it…

here’s the first recorded version of what would eventually become a tune we’re all familiar with.

mbube – solomon linda & the evening song birds

solomon linda wrote this song, whose title is zulu for "lion." pete seeger eventually re-recorded it, mishearing the chorus as "wimoweh." here’s the carnegie hall reunion of seeger’s group, the weavers, singing their version (w/some fan comments beforehand; the actual song starts @ about 1:30):

wimoweh – the weavers

wikipedia tells us that songwriters george david weiss, luigi creatore, and hugo peretti eventually added some words, describing the legend upon which the song was based: the leader of the zulu, skaka, known as "the lion," did not die when the europeans took over their land; instead, he simply went to sleep, and someday he will wake up and led his people again.

the tokens recorded this new version, the one that most of us know so well:

the lion sleeps tonight – the tokens

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