Music
5 guys bring down the house with their cover of ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’
What a fantastic performance - they sounded so good!
Maria Pangilinan
10.13.22

Most people know the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from the Disney blockbuster “The Lion King.” The movie was first released in 1994 and spawned a hit Broadway musical, a 2019 movie remake, a spin-off television series, and countless merchandise, from toys to t-shirts to bags.

Unsplash - James Genchi
Source:
Unsplash - James Genchi

One thing that stands out from the “The Lion King” franchise is the memorable soundtrack.

YouTube - DisneyMusicVevo
Source:
YouTube - DisneyMusicVevo

Part of the popular soundtrack is the now-famous “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” performed countless times over many years. While many people associate the song with the Disney movie, it is a little-known fact that it was originally a song that became number one on the pop charts in 1961. This version was sung by the New York singing group the Tokens.

Even more surprising to people is that the 1960s version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” came from another song first performed in the 1930s.

Public Domain via Wiki Commons
Source:
Public Domain via Wiki Commons

The original song was “Mbube,” written and recorded in 1939 by Solomon Linda, a South African singer, and migrant worker. He sang it with the musical group, the Evening Birds. It was then turned into “Wimoweh” by the group the Weavers in the 1950s, then again transformed into the 1960s pop hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens. This take is the version we all know and love.

YouTube - tokenvideos
Source:
YouTube - tokenvideos

The song’s history is riddled with controversy due to licensing and copyright issues that began when the first Lion King movie came out.

Despite this, there’s no doubt that Solomon Linda’s song is well-loved worldwide. Many outstanding singers and musical groups have put their own twist on the popular song.

One such group is the Lithuanian a cappella group “Quorum.”

Lithuania’s only professional male a cappella group performed a fantastic version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which stands out thanks to their flawless vocals.

YouTube - nevinovatajaja
Source:
YouTube - nevinovatajaja

The group has been around since 2005 and claims to be Lithuania’s only professional male a cappella group. They often perform with Lithuania’s top pop artists.

Today, Quorum consists of ensemble leader Vitalij Neugasimov, countertenor Audrius Jautakis, bassists Romanas Savickas and Vytautas Gailevičius, baritone Žilvinas Čaplikas, and tenor Artur Šulc.

YouTube - nevinovatajaja
Source:
YouTube - nevinovatajaja

According to the group’s biography,

“[Through] singing music [a cappella], they achieve a special, almost instrumental sound that is precise and subtle. This amazing precision is clearly demonstrated in their repertoire of varied performances that range from pop songs (like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) to European folk songs to traditional Christmas carols.”

YouTube - nevinovatajaja
Source:
YouTube - nevinovatajaja

They performed their version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” live in Kaunas, Lithuania, in front of a massive crowd of 12,000 people.

It was a special performance celebrating St. Valentine’s Day, and their extraordinary rendition of the song filled the Zalgiris Arena. Many netizens loved their performance, and the video has garnered over 300,000 views on YouTube.

One of Quorum’s performance highlights is the realistic animal sounds they recreate using only their voices.

YouTube - nevinovatajaja
Source:
YouTube - nevinovatajaja

At the beginning of the performance, if you close your eyes, you can almost imagine you are in the middle of the jungle.

Their incredible vocal talent, paired with their creative take on one of the world’s most famous songs, takes the listener on a fun musical journey.

Whether you discovered “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in the 1960’s, as a child of the ’90s, or re-discovered it again while watching with your own kids in the 2019 remake, we’re sure you’ll add Quorum’s rendition to your favorites.

YouTube - nevinovatajaja
Source:
YouTube - nevinovatajaja

Watch this amazing performance below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Maria Pangilinan
hi@sbly.com
Maria Pangilinan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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