Circle of Life – Continued Exploration

For my blog I chose “Circle of Life” from The Lion King. The 1994 animated film is directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, produced by Don Hahn and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is a story taking place in Africa with a kingdom of lions. The Lion King is a story of a young lion (Simba), who is to take his father’s place (Mufasa) as King of the Pride Lands. During the movie, Mufasa is killed by his jealous brother Scar. Simba believes his uncle Scar when Simba is told he is the reason for his father’s death and flees away from his family for a while. While Simba is on his own he is given some valuable information from his childhood friend Nala and Rafiki (his shaman), before returning to face his uncle Scar and take his place as king. In the beginning of the movie, the song “Circle of Life” is sung and Simba is shown to the animals in Pride Rock as the next to be King.

“Circle of Life” Composed by Elton John and Tim Rice. Released in the U.S. in 1994. Performed by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M.

Role of the song

“Circle of Life” is sung in Zulu in the beginning and switches to English. The beginning is translated to:                                                                                                                                  “Here comes a lion father,                                                                                                                oh yes it’s a lion!                                                                                                                          We’re going to conquer                                                                                                                          A lion and leopard come to this place”                                                                                       The song is reminding us that as soon as we are born and we see the sun light, there is more to see in this Earth. There is also more to do during the day and there is not enough time. No matter what we face while we are alive, we have the faith and love to go on until we find our place. We have this circle of life where there is birth, survival of hardships and joy and when it is our time, there is death. The chorus is:                             “In the circle of life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life”                                                                                                             This means we have a life to live sort of like a game. It is with faith and hope that we find our place on our path that is given to us in our life.

“Circle of Life” Composed by Elton John and Tim Rice. Released in the U.S. in 1994. Performed by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M. Official music video

Social Commentary

“In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” (Wikipedia). The song is a perfect example of the life we live. There will always be hardships, losses, love and even death. We just have to have faith and hope to find our path.


The song is sung in F Major and is 83 beats per minute. The dynamics of the song are soft in the beginning and gets louder at 1:37. It is written in common time (4/4). The range of the song is not too high. The timbre of the song is mainly percussion. We can hear the background singers throughout the whole sing, singing “Here comes a lion father, oh yes it’s a lion! We’re going to conquer, A lion and leopard come to this place.” The lyrics of the song give meaning to everyone’s life.

Works Cited

“The Lion King.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation 27 Nov. 2017 Accessed 26 Nov. 2017

“Circle of Life.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation 24 Nov. 2017 Accessed 26 Nov. 2017

“Circle of Life.” Disney Wiki. FANDOM powered by Wikia 21 Nov. 2017 Accessed 28 Nov. 2017

“The Lion King – Circle of Life.” Film Musical 24 Aug. 2016


7 thoughts on “Circle of Life – Continued Exploration

  1. Lion King is a movie that never gets old! One of the first Disney movies that I remember. I think that the best thing in Disney movies is that they always include deeper story behind them. Great analysis of the meaning of this song. Even the chorus is someway cliche, it captures the circle of life. I think that the back singers accompanied by the lead singers add some harmony to the song. I grew up in Finland, so I was used to watch this movie in Finnish, and I thought that it would be fun to share the Finnish version here:

    Thanks for sharing this post with us!


  2. Very interesting! I never knew the famous Circle Of Life was composed by Elton John. I totally agree with you on your interpretation of the song, something I hadn’t really taken into account before but yes it is a really good example of the life we live.

    If you really love the Lion King, here is 107 random facts about it! Some of them were pretty interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to tell you, I have been having a stressful day worrying about completing all my assignments before this semester ends, not only for this class, but for my other three classes. On top of this, my toddler is not feeling well, so another worry on my behalf. This song sure changed my mood, it brought a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. In this journey, we will face challenges and times of worry, but if we have faith, all will be well. You did a great job with your blog!

    Did you know that Disney is recreating this movie in July 2019! That is awesome, I loved the first movie and I am looking forward to see the new version. Here’s a short clip on some of the cast for this film (I am glad they kept Mufasa’s voice the same with the legendary James Earl Jones’ voice. )

    The Lion King: First Look – Meet The Cast (2019). 2 Nov. 2017. USA.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. HUGE fan of this movie! It was the first movie I actually remember seeing theaters and is one of the reasons I love lions so much. The music for this entire movie is inspiring and easy to sing along too. There are constant reminders to stay uplifted like, Hakuna Matata. A rather under-rated movie All Dogs Go to Heaven takes an interesting look on life and death. The scene Let Me Be Surprised has an older tune to it with the combination of their voice types. Highly recommend it!


  5. Very good choice for this blog! Growing up I couldn’t help but to sing along with this song overtime it was put on VHS! I like your layout, its really clear but I would like to hear more of your opinion on the movie/song and not what we needed to hear. I enjoyed watching the clips you chose to put into the blog. I liked that you added the lyrics and were willing to translate them! Good Job! I found this article that I enjoyed reading! I hope you do too 🙂


  6. I love the beginning of the intro, “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba.” That one line is probably imprinted on my brain from how many times I have watched this movie. I think that this song is also alludes to the lesson that Mufasa teaches Simba latter on in the movie, that all of the animals are equal and all should be respected no matter where on the food chain they are. Also, while I was researching I found out that there is a Broadway musical of The Lion King. Here is “Circle of Life” preformed for the 1998 Tony Awards.


  7. The Circle of Life (John & Rice) was a great selection! Such a deeply meaningful song, in such an engaging and captivating composition. I like your description of the lyrics, which varies a little from my own. The different perspective makes me think. When I sing a long with the song (yes, I watch the movie, and yes I sing along to every song especially Timon and Pumba’s luau song) I feel it is talking about how each of us are so different, with different paths ahead. That there are different perspectives on life, but regardless of path or direction, it is a common understanding to “never take more than you give.” (Metrolyrics).

    What I did find interesting in doing a little more digging, was this article You’ll Be So Disappointed By What The ‘Circle Of Life’ Lyrics Actually Mean (Silvers) which features a few tweets of people’s disappointment upon learning the translated meaning of the intro verses to the song. Fairly amusing in my opinion.

    Lastly I came across in my musings on the whole Circle of Life was this little gem. Hope you enjoy!

    Works Cited
    Silvers, Adam. “You’ll Be So Disappointed By What The ‘Circle Of Life’ Lyrics Actually Mean.” Elite Daily, 1 Oct. 2017,
    “THE LION KING Australia: Cast Sings Circle of Life on Flight Home from Brisbane.” YouTube, 1 Apr. 2014,
    “Walt Disney Records (Ft. Carmen Twillie & Lebo M.) ? Circle of Life.” Genius, 29 Mar. 1994,


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