I just finished listening to an episode of the Changing World that traced the origins of the song we now know as The Lion Sleeps Tonight. It’s a really excellent 24 mins of radio that charts the song’s mutation over decades. Listen to it here.
I’ve heard a few different versions of the song before, but I don’t recall ever hearing the original recording, which was called Mbube, by Solomon Linda who apparently improvised the now famous melody on the spot. Take a listen. So, so good.