In the Jungle, the Unjust Jungle, a Small Victor
As Solomon Linda first recorded it in 1939, it was a tender melody, almost childish in its simplicity — three chords, a couple of words and some baritones chanting in the background. But the saga of the song now known worldwide as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is anything but a lullaby.
Solomon Linda, left, the composer of Africa’s first megahit, with the Original Evening Birds, in 1941.
Elizabeth Nsele said her father’s song about the sleeping lion had roots in a hard childhood protecting cattle.