I Wan'na Be Like You (the Monkey Song)

Bruce Reitherman, Louis Prima, Phil Harris

About I Wan'na Be Like You (the Monkey Song)

"I Wan'na Be like You" is a song from Walt Disney's 1967 film The Jungle Book. The song was written by songwriters Robert and Richard Sherman, and was performed by singer and musician Louis Prima as King Louie, with Phil Harris as Baloo the bear.


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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 humen too

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

Now here's your part of the deal, 'cause
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
Now, give me the secret, mancub
C'mon, clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you

I wanna be like you
I wanna walk like you
Talk 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

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Louis Prima

Louis Prima (December 7, 1910 – August 24, 1978) was an American singer, actor, songwriter, and trumpeter. Prima rode the musical trends of his time, starting with his seven-piece New Orleans style jazz band in the 1920s, then successively leading a swing combo in the 1930s, a big band in the 1940s, a Vegas lounge act in the 1950s, and a pop-rock band in the 1960s. In each of his musical endeavors, he incorporated his exuberant personality into his act.[citation needed] more »

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Written by: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman

Lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

12 facts about this song

Song Origins
"I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" was created for the 1967 Disney animation film, "The Jungle Book".
Composer Duo
The song was composed by the famous duo of brothers, Richard and Robert Sherman, who are well-known for their work in several Disney films.
Signature Performance
The song was originally sung by Louis Prima, playing the character of King Louie, the boisterous orangutan in "The Jungle Book".
Recording Technique
To capture the spontaneity and humor of Prima's performance, Disney recorded Prima's vocals live in the studio while they were filming his actions for the animators to draw from.
Character Inspiration
King Louie, the character who sings the song in the film, was not in Rudyard Kipling's original collection of "Jungle Book" stories. Disney added the character as they needed a comically lighthearted character.
The song is a classic example of Jazz music and falls under the swing genre.
Notable Covers
The song has been covered by numerous artists over the years, including The Jonas Brothers in 2007 and Olly Murs in 2015 for a Disney compilation album.
In April 2016, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 83.
Film Remakes
The song was also included in the 2016 live-action adaptation of "The Jungle Book", sung by Christopher Walken who portrayed King Louie.
Song Meaning
The song portrays the human-like aspirations of King Louie, the orangutan who wants to learn the secret of man's red fire in order to become human.
Song Criticism
While many enjoy the song for its catchy tune and humorous lyrics, some critics debate its portrayal of stereotypes, as they see an unintended reflection of the civil rights struggles in America at the time of the film's release.
Live Performance
Louis Prima and his ensemble, including singer Gia Maione and sax player Sam Butera, performed "I Wan'na Be Like You" in the film and also performed it live in their nightclub acts.

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    "I Wan'na Be Like You (the Monkey Song) Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/17547181/Louis+Prima/I+Wan%27na+Be+Like+You+%28the+Monkey+Song%29>.

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