Jay Siegel of The Tokens lends his voice to inspiring new version of the 1961 KIXI classic
You will be uplifted by this song and video. Tokens lead singer Jay Siegel contributes vocals to a new version of his group’s chart-topping 1961 hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by Memphis-born singer/songwriter Beau Davidson. The song was released Thursday, March 3, to coincide with World Wildlife Day in hopes that it will raise awareness about conservation efforts to save wild lions and other big cats.
The re-imagined version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” features some traditional African instrumentation, as well as modern pop sounds and a joyous rhythm that will make you want to get up and dance.
“This version of ‘Lion’ is bigger and even more universal than its predecessor,” says Siegel. “Can’t-sit-still African percussion, real instrumentation, and a powerful vocal. As different now as it was when it came out in 1961!”
The tune pays tribute to Cecil the Lion, whose death at the hands of an American trophy hunter in Zimbabwe last July made media headlines and outraged many conservationists. A corresponding video has been produced that features scenes of the tracks being recorded interspersed with footage of lions in the wild shot by the award-winning filmmakers and conservationists Derek and Beverly Joubert. You can watch the clip now at Davidson’s official You Tube channel.
“As we recorded this song, we were all moved by the tragedy of Cecil the Lion,” says Davidson. “This 2016 rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ is a call for people of all ages to be mindful we must protect, respect and safeguard all species.”
Fans watching the video or downloading the single at iTunes are encouraged to donate to National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.