"Mbube" is most likely one of the most famous melodies known on this planet. The history behind this haunting Zulu-song, which would later be known throughout the world as "Wimoweh" and/or "The Lion sleeps tonight" is as ramified and mysterious as the jungle it evokes with its chants and wailing, ghostly voice.

Salomon Linda, who conceived the melody one afternoon in South-Africa´s only recording studio in the 1930s, sold all the rights to the owner of the record company for a minimal amount of cash. In return he was "allowed" to work as a packer in the small company. During the decades, several people would take on the song and changed it until it became an enduring mega-seller. I found it quite surprising that the song, which is widely believed to be an ancient African lullaby, was written in the 1930s and that it was transformed by several composers who conveniently forgot to mention Salomon Linda as the original author.

For some downloadable versions of "Mbube/The Lion sleeps tonight" and a short write-up of the story head to Any Major Dude. The complete and riveting history of the song from it´s conception to the long law-suits during the naughties can be read in this fascinating story.

This is the original recording of "Mbube" by Salomon Linda and the Evening Birds.

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