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What the intro lyrics to The Lion King song Circle of Life actually mean

The beautiful teaser trailer for Disney’s upcoming The Lion King remake re-introduces a familiar scene, depicting a cute baby lion held by a monkey over a cliff.

Audiences will recognise this as the iconic opening moment from the original film. They will also recognise the music as the beginning of the song Circle of Life.

In these intro moments we hear a chant in Zulu, which begins (though these lyrics might look a little different to how they sound) with the words: “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba.”

But what do these lyrics actually mean? The meaning is really quite simple. Let’s go through it line by line, with thanks to the fine folk at Genius for this translation.

Lyric: Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba

Meaning: Here is a lion

Lyric: Sithi uhm ingonyama

Meaning: Oh yes it’s a lion

Lyric: Siyo Nqoba

Meaning: We’re going to conquer

Lyric: Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala

Meaning: A lion and a leopard come to this open place



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