David posted on Facebook the question, “Have you ever been so bored that you’ve found yourself scouring the internet for the best remixes of The Lion Sleeps Tonight?” I guess that he is just marking time this week in school, before his field trip to a conference in Baltimore this weekend. His Facebook post was enough though to launch me on this post. Originally recorded in 1939, in Zulu, and under various titles, this song was repeatedly covered, including by the Weavers, until in 1961 the Tokens struck gold with The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Disney eventually made it platinum when it included it as part of their movie The Lion King. I’ve always loved the song too.
Staying with the African lion theme, I’ve chosen a rather stylized photo of the man-eaters of Tsavo. These two maneless male lions terrorized a British railway building project in 1896. British Army construction engineer J.H. Patterson eventually hunted down the two lions, but not before they had killed over a hundred people. This story was told in the movie, The Ghosts in the Darkness, starring Val Kilmer as Patterson, with Michael Douglas as the professional hunter Charles Remington, who was sent for to aid Patterson. Patterson used the lions skins as rugs, before eventually selling them to the Chicago Field museum. The lions were reconstructed and remain on display there now.