Tag Archives: The Circle of Life

The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride “He Lives in You” (1998)

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In the late 1990s and 2000s, Disney went on a spree of creating sequels to all of their animated films, most of which paled in comparison to the originals. However, there were a few successful follow-ups and The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is one of them. The story follows Simba’s (Matthew Broderick) daughter Kiara (Neve Campbell) as she finds herself becoming friends (and later much more) with Kovu (Jason Marsden), the alleged son of Scar and Zira (a lioness who followed Scar, even after Simba returned to the Pride Lands), leader of a band of exiled lions. If the first Lion King is based on Hamlet, then the sequel is clearly Romeo and Juliet (only there’s a happy ending in this version).

 

The film starts, like the original, with a sunrise and the animals traveling again to Pride Rock to acknowledge the new heir to the throne. “He Lives in You” actually comes from the Broadway version of The Lion King and was initially sung by Mufasa to Simba (speaking of the Great Kings of the Past) and later by Rafiki. Like “The Circle of Life,” this song also mixes some Zulu into the lyrics.

Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala
Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala

Night
And the spirit of life
Calling

Oh, oh, iyo
Mamela (Listen)
Oh, oh, iyo

And a voice
With the fear of a child
Answers

Oh, oh, iyo
Oh, mamela (Listen)
Oh, oh, iyo

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Ubukhosi bo khokho (Throne of the ancestors)
We ndodana ye sizwe sonke (Oh, son of the nation)

Wait
There’s no mountain too great
Oh, oh, iyo
Hear the words and have faith
Oh, oh, iyo
Have faith

Hela hm mamela (Hey, listen)

He lives in you (Hela hm mamela, hela)
He lives in me (Hela hm mamela, hela)
He watches over (Hela hm mamela, hela)
Everything we see (Hela hm mamela, hela)
Into the water (Hela hm mamela, hela)
Into the truth (Hela hm mamela, hela)
In your reflection (Hela hm mamela)
He lives in you

As Kiara is presented to the animals of the Pride Lands, we can see Mufasa’s spirit watching over the proceedings, clearly pleased with how things are going. I think it really helps that this film opens like the original story, it provides a sense of continuity, the idea that this is a real follow-up to Simba’s story. This song is also a call back to Rafiki’s message to Simba in the original film (“That’s not my father, it’s just my reflection.” “You see…he lives in you.”)

What do you think about “He Lives in You?” Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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The Lion King “The Circle of Life” (1994)

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Part of what makes The Lion King so spectacular is the gorgeous animation and renderings of the African landscape. The film’s iconic sunrise opening remains a beautiful moment, even 20 plus years after the film’s initial release. The opening song “The Circle of Life” is a perfect combination of traditional African music and Western song. The opening “call” is from the Zulu language and translates to:

“Here comes a lion father, oh yes it’s a lion!/We’re going to conquer/A lion and leopard come to this open place.”

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After this initial verse, the scene alternates between various animals found in Africa (cheetahs, rhinoceros, elephants, ostrich, antelope, etc) all awakening and beginning a mass journey towards what is ultimately revealed as Pride Rock. This visual of animals assembling to celebrate the birth of a new Prince is reminiscent (and likely inspired by) the opening scene of Bambi (1942) where all the animals of the forest gather to greet the newly born Bambi.

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I love the next verse:

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s a perfect summation of life, there is so much to do/see/touch/experience, that even living life to the absolute fullest, we still couldn’t experience all of it, which is amazing when you think about it.

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I love the sweeping view of the landscape when Zazu flies up to Mufasa

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love

Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Up at Pride Rock, King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is awaiting the arrival of Rafiki, a mandrill who serves as an advisor to the king and also presents the new Prince to the animals of the Pride Lands whenever a new one is born. The newborn Simba is absolutely adorable and somewhat bewildered by everything going on around him. Rafiki pronounces his blessing and proceeds to take the lion cub out to the ledge so that all the animals can see him and bow in homage. It’s a wonderful moment, and this remains one of my favorite Disney songs.

I hope you enjoy “The Circle of Life,” let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button

For more Lion King, see also:

The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994)

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (1994)

The Lion King “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (1994)

The Lion King “Under the Stars” (1994)

The Lion King “To Die For” (1994)

The Lion King “King of Pride Rock” (1994) Pt. 1

The Lion King “King of Pride Rock” Pt. 2 (1994)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here

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