The Lion King remains an all-time favorite among the fans of Disney animated musicals. The unforgettable music is one of the most remarkable parts of the animated classic.
You can’t deny the fact that the soundtrack is one of the best Disney has ever produced. These songs are instantly recognizable and easy to sing.
Honestly, they’re all classics, but here’s my ranking of the top six The Lion King songs list in order from the original film. All The Lion King songs are fantastic, but I just think some songs are the absolute best.
The Lion King Songs List – My Personal Favorites In Order
Before we begin, this is just my ranking of the songs. Obviously, this isn’t the definitive ranking of The Lion King songs, it’s just my list.
Each song on this list is excellent. They are almost impossible to rank. Honestly, they are all classics.
This is not a definitive list of all the songs from The Lion King, only what I believe to be the “best of the best”.
With that being said, let’s get into the list.
1. “Circle of Life”
“Circle of Life” opens The Lion King and sets the tone for the whole movie. It’s an amazing mix of a variety of sounds. But it’s rooted deep in African roots thanks to Lébo M’s first song and the rest of the various sounds to follow it. The film gives you an excellent look at the Prideland, all its inhabitants, the main characters of this movie, and much more. Without this opening song, The Lion King wouldn’t be what it is today. We’re forever grateful for it.
2. “Hakuna Matata”
You probably liked Timon and Pumbaa as soon as they appear on screen, but “Hakuna Matata” makes you like them even more. Sung primarily by Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, it’s generally considered the most popular song from The Lion King. When you think of the song from this movie, this one is guaranteed to come to mind. It’s a great introduction to those two characters and it shows their growing bond with each other as Simba gets older.
3. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
“Can You feel the Love Tonight” is a song that always brings a certain feeling of love. It’s that song you hear when Nala finds Simba after many years. It shows the audience where their relationship is going and is a sets up for Simba to remember his true identity. It’s sad for Timon and Puma because they think they’ll lose their friend. It’s always a good listen with incredible lyrics and amazing singing performances from Joseph Williams and Sally Dworskys.
4. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”
“I Just Can’t Wait to be King” is the second song you hear in the film, and is perfect to show the audience young Simba’s ambition and character. From a musical standpoint, the orchestration and the combination of different sounds are unparalleled. The scene stands out even more due to the amazing animation. You can’t help but sing it every time it comes on.
5. “Be Prepared”
Jeremy Irons deserves credit for his performance as Scar. Whenever “Be Prepared” plays, it always delivers a threatening and chilling feeling. It’s certainly a different song from the others in the movie because of its dark mood, whereas the rest are most inspirational and uplifting. It is a great tune nevertheless and it really sets foreshadows tragedy later in the film while also elevating Scar as a character.
6. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is a song originally written by Solomon Linda as “Mbube” that was sung by Lebo M with his South African choir. The Tokens were famous for this song in the 1960s. The song was sung in the film by Timon and Pumbaa. It’s super fun and catchy.
Disney’s use of this song in the film and musical stage productions of The Lion King prompted a lawsuit on behalf of the descendants of Solomon Linda. In July 2004, the court ruled that Disney owed $1.6 million in royalties for the use of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” to Linda’s descendants.