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Music Video

I Wanna Be Like You Lyrics - Louis Prima and Phil Harris


OST: Classic Disney

Song Lyrics

I Wanna Be Like You Song Lyrics


Now I'm the king of the swingers
Oh, the jungle VIP
I've reached the top and had to stop
And that's what botherin' me
I wanna be a man, mancub
And stroll right into town
And be just like the other men
I'm tired of monkeyin' around!

Oh, oobee doo
I wanna be like you
I wanna walk like you
Talk like you, too
You'll see it's true
An ape like me
Can learn to be human too

( Gee, cousin Louie
You're doin' real good

Now here's your part of the deal, cuz
Lay the secret on me of man's red fire

But I don't know how to make fire )

Now don't try to kid me, mancub
I made a deal with you
What I desire is man's red fire
To make my dream come true
Give me the secret, mancub
Clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you

You!
I wanna be like you
I wanna talk like you
Walk like you, too
You'll see it's true
Someone like me
Can learn to be
Like someone like me
Can learn to be
Like someone like you
Can learn to be
Like someone like me!



March, 12th 2024
Background and Context.
"I Wanna Be Like You" is a memorable song from the 1967 Disney animdted film, "The Jungle Book." Sung by the character King Louie, voiced by Louis Prima, the song expresses his desire to become human. The film is based on Rudyard Kipling's collection of stories, set in the dense forests of India. This song stands out for its catchy melody and humorous lyrics, capturing the essence of King Louie's character and his ambitions.

Main Message and Theme.
The song's lyrics convey a deep tearning for transformation and belonging. King Louie's aspiration to be human reflects a universal theme of identity and the quest for self-improvement. His focus on acquiring the ability to make fire, a symbol of human advancement and power, underscores his belief that such a skill would elevate his status and integrate him into the human world. The song's lively rhythm and upbeat tempo, characteristic of the swing genre, add a layer of irony to his ambitions, as his carefree nature contrasts with the complexities of human life and society.

Origin and Genre.
Released as part of "The Jungle Book" soundtrack in 1967, this song blends elements of jazz and swing, mirroring the musical trends of the time. The inclusion of this genre in a children's animated film was innovative, introducing young audiences to a style of music they might not have encountered otherwise. The choice of Louis Prima, a renowned jazz musician, to voice King Louie, further authenticates the song's style, adding a layer of authenticity to the character's musical expression.

Meaning and Analysis.
At its core, "I Wanna Be Like You" explores themes of envy, ambition, and the grass-is-always-greener syndrome. King Louie's admiration for humans and his desire to mimic their abilities highlight a common longing for the qualities or possessions others have, which one believes will bring fulfillment or happiness. However, the song also touches on the idea that true happiness and identity come from embracing one's nature and strengths rather than imitating others. This message is subtly conveyed through the song's playful tone and King Louie's eventual realization of the value of his own unique qualities.

Emotion and Style.
The emotion driving the song is a mix of envy and admiration, wrapped in a joyful and energetic musical style. This combination creates a contrast that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The swing and jazz influences in the music mirror the carefree yet complex nature of King Louie's character, offering a deeper insight into his personality and desires beyond the surface-level comedy. The song's ability to balance these elements is a testament to the skillful composition and storytelling of the Disney musical team, making "I Wanna Be Like You" a timeless piece that resonates with audiences of all ages.

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