Bongo Bong

Manu Chao

About Bongo Bong

"Bongo Bong" is the first solo single by Manu Chao from his first album, Clandestino. It is a remake of Mano Negra's song (Mano Negra was his own band), "King of Bongo" (1991), which has its roots in a 1939 recording of "King of the Bongo Bong" by the trumpeter Roy Eldridge. It also uses the background music from Black Uhuru's song "Bull ina di Pen" from their Anthem album. It is part of a medley with "Je ne t'aime plus" on the album. The music has been reused for other songs such as "Mr. Bobby" which was first released on this single before being re-recorded for his second album, Próxima Estación: Esperanza, and "Homens" from the same album. In 2006, a cover version by Robbie Williams, combining "Bongo Bong" and "Je ne t'aime plus" in one track (much in the way the tracks are intertwined on Clandestino), appeared on Williams' album Rudebox and was released as a single release of its own in 2007. The song has also been remixed by breakbeat artists Cut & Run, drum and bass duo Ed Solo, Deekline and drum and bass band Noisia and German singer Max Raabe. 


 Watch: New Singing Lesson Videos Can Make Anyone A Great Singer

Mama was queen of the mambo
Papa was king of the Congo
Deep down in the jungle
I started bangin' my first bongo

Every monkeyed like to be
In my place instead of me
'Cause I'm the king of bongo, baby
I'm the king of bongo bong

I went to the big town
Where there is a lot of sound
From the jungle to the city
Looking for a bigger crown

So I play my boogie
For the people of big city
But they don't go crazy
When I'm bangin' in my boogie

I'm the "king of the bongo, king of the bongo bong"
Hear me when I come
King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong
They say that I'm a clown

Making too much dirty sound
They say there is no place for little monkey in this town
Nobody'd like to be in my place instead of me
Cause nobody go crazy when I'm bangin' on my boogie

I'm the king of the bongo, king of the bongo bong
Hear me when I come
"King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong"
Bangin' on my bongo all that swing belongs to me

I'm so happy there's nobody in my place instead of me
I'm a king without a crown hanging loose in a big town
But I'm the king of bongo baby I'm the king of bongo bong
King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong

Hear me when I come, baby,
King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong

 The easy, fast & fun way to learn how to sing:

Manu Chao

Manu Chao (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmanu ˈtʃao]; born José-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao on June 21, 1961) is a French, Spanish and English singer of Spanish roots (Basque and Galician). He sings in French, Spanish, English, Italian, Galician, Arabic and Portuguese and occasionally in other languages. Chao began his musical career in Paris, busking and playing with groups such as Hot Pants and Los Carayos, which combined a variety of languages and musical styles. With friends and his brother Antoine Chao, he founded the band Mano Negra in 1987, achieving considerable success, particularly in Europe. He became a solo artist after its breakup in 1995, and since then tours regularly with his live band, Radio Bemba. more »

0 fans

Written by: Manuel Chao

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Song Genre
"Bongo Bong" by Manu Chao is classified as a song that blends reggae, salsa, and French pop, showcasing the musician's unique music style.
Song History
The song was initially a part of the medley "Je Ne T'aime Plus", the seventh track of Manu Chao's debut solo album, titled "Clandestino", released in October 1998.
Song Origin
The version of "Bongo Bong" by Manu Chao is a reworking of a song by the band "Mano Negra", fronted by Chao himself, first released on their album called "Casa Babylon" from 1994.
Song Lyrics Meaning
The song's lyrics represent a story told by a monkey, living in the jungle and playing his bongo, until "KO" comes along, jealous of the monkey's bongo. It's interpreted as a critique on western modernization.
Song Accomplishment
"Bongo Bong" charted significantly well in the UK, making it up to the 47th spot in the UK Singles Chart.
Cover Version
British musician Robbie Williams covered "Bongo Bong" in a mashup with "Je ne t'aime plus", both by Manu Chao. This version, under the title "Bongo Bong and Je ne t'aime plus", was released in 2006.
Song Popularity
"Bongo Bong" is considered a signature track of Manu Chao and is often recognized for its distinctive style of blending traditional Latin flavors with international influences.
Use in Other Media
"Bongo Bong" has been featured on the soundtrack for several films and TV shows, including "Daria" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".
Unique Style
As with many of Manu Chao's tracks, "Bongo Bong" is notable for its fusion of musical styles, including elements of reggae and world music, along with lyrics that blend English, Spanish, and French.
Success of the Album
The album "Clandestino", which features "Bongo Bong", is considered as a successful solo debut for Manu Chao, selling over 5 million copies worldwide.

Discuss the Bongo Bong Lyrics with the community:



    Use the citation below to add these lyrics to your bibliography:


    "Bongo Bong Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jul 2024. <>.

    Missing lyrics by Manu Chao?

    Know any other songs by Manu Chao? Don't keep it to yourself!

    Watch the song video

    Bongo Bong

    292.1K     9,115


    Our awesome collection of

    Promoted Songs



    Are you a music master?

    "Faithfully" is the title of what band?
    A Train
    B REO Speedwagon
    C Journey
    D Kiss

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant explanation for any lyrics that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Manu Chao tracks

    On Radio Right Now


    Powered by

    Think you know music? Test your MusicIQ here!

    Movies soundtrack

    Bongo Bong