Lion King

What Are They Saying In The “Circle of Life”?

I’ve always used the same sound on my alarm clock. It is this one…

Yes, I know that is incredibly loud and obnoxious. But that is why I chose it. It is so annoying that I couldn’t wait to get up and turn it off.

It served its purpose.

That is until recently.

A few weeks ago I changed my alarm clock sound on my phone. I started becoming too familiar with the annoying alarm. I became so used to it that it sort of worked its way into being a part of my dreams.

For those who know me, you know I am a sleepwalker. Waking up in the morning is always a new adventure to see if I changed clothes or moved anything around my room. Because of this, I started to fear what I might do with the alarm sound. The sound sort of resembles a launch sequence for a rocket. I figured if I became too comfortable with it, my sleepwalking self might just think a rocket is going off in my room.

So I decided to change it to something a little less rocket-y.

I came up with the perfect choice…

That’s right, every morning I wake up to the opening song from the Lion King, Circle of Life.

If you watch the music video above, you see the sun rise and a new day begin. What a perfect song to start a day to.

It is loud enough to wake me up and then immediately calms down to where I won’t sleep-destroy my room. (Although I am a little afraid I may climb up to the edge of my desk and hold a pillow above my head for the who room full of imaginary animals to see).

But now each morning I also wake up with a question…What the heck are they saying in that song?

It sort of sounds like NAAA-SATAINYA-BADDABEACHYBADDA. But that can’t be right, can it?

Let’s find out…

Wonder Why Wednesday: What Are They Saying In The Circle of Life?

The intro lines of The Circle of Life are Zulu, which is one of the official languages of South Africa and is a member of the Bantu/Nguni family of languages. My guess of NAAA-SATAINYA-BADDABEACHYBADD is way off. What is actually said is,

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba”

That translates to “Here comes a lion, Father.”

The next line in Zulu is, “Sithi uhm ingonyama” [Oh yes, it’s a lion].

The song then repeats, “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba” [Here comes a lion, Father], “Sithi uhm ingonyama” [Oh yes, it’s a lion], which is followed again by, “Ingonyama” [It’s a lion], and “Siyo Nqoba” [We’re going to conquer], “Ingonyama Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala” [A lion and a leopard come to this open place].

So there you have it. Each morning I wake up to someone yelling “Here comes a lion, Father!” This would be a whole lot scarier if my alarm was someone yelling that in English.


For those interested in the complete lyrics from the song, you can check them out here.



(Photo credit: Flickr)