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"Be Prepared" is one of the five songs written for The Lion King. It was written by lyricist Tim Rice and composer Elton John. The song is performed by the voice actors for Scar, Jeremy Irons, as well as the voice actors for Shenzi, Banzai and Ed: Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings.

The Lion King

The song serves as the villain song for the film. In the film, Scar meets with his hyena henchmen, and scolds them for failing to kill Simba, as part of one of Scar's earlier plots. Shenzi and Banzai note that they would have succeeded had Mufasa not interfered, and sarcastically ask whether they should have killed Mufasa. Scar sinisterly answers, "Precisely."

As the song opens, Scar takes note of the hyenas' stupidity, but notes that if they ally themselves with him they might be useful. Scar explains that his plan is to kill both Simba and Mufasa, and then take the throne for himself, since he will be the only eligible heir. Scar makes the hyenas an offer: they help him usurp the throne, and he will allow them into the Pride Lands where they will never go hungry again. The hyenas readily accept, and quickly reveal that they number in the hundreds. The rest of the song talks about the power and the benefits that both parties will have under Scar's reign.

The song features diverse imagery, with the background colors becoming more intense throughout the song. One section features the entire clan of hyenas marching in goose-step, modeled after Nazi Propaganda, turning their noses sharply to look at Scar sitting upon a high balcony, very similar to Adolf Hitler.

The Lion King 1½

Part of the song features in the sequel The Lion King 1½. The opening is played as Timon and Pumbaa unknowingly wander through sections of the Elephant Graveyard to see if it would make a good home, but stumble in even as the clan of hyenas begin their famous 'goose-step' routine. Silently, they tip-toe out of the number.

The song also features in the live musical version of the original film. It reprises briefly at Mufasa's funeral as Scar becomes king.

Lyrics

[Speech not heard in movie version]
Scar: I never thought hyenas essential
They're crude and unspeakably plain
But maybe they've a glimmer of potential
If allied to my vision and brain...

I know that your powers of retention
Are as wet as a warthog's backside
But thick as you are, pay attention!
My words are a matter of pride

It's clear from your vacant expressions
The lights are not all on upstairs
But we're talking kings and successions
Even you can't be caught unawares!

So, prepare for the chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining, new era
Is tiptoeing nearer
Shenzi: And where do we feature?
Scar: Just listen to teacher

I know it sounds sordid
But you'll be rewarded
When at last, I am given my dues
And injustice deliciously squared
Scar/Hyena Clan: Be prepared!

[Speech]
Banzai: Yeah, be prepared! We'll be prepared! For what?
Scar: For the death of the king!
Banzai: Why? Is he sick?
Scar: No, fool, we're gonna kill him. And Simba, too.
Shenzi: Great idea! Who needs a king?
Shenzi and Banzai: No king! No king! La-la-la-la-la-la!
Scar: Idiots! There will be a king!
Banzai: Hey, but you said, uh...
Scar: I will be king! Stick with me, and you'll never go hungry again!
Shenzi and Banzai (Variously): Yay! All right! Long live the king!
Hyena Clan: Long live the king! Long live the king!

Hyena Clan: King, king, king, king, king, king!
It's great that we'll soon be connected
With a king who'll be all time adored
Scar: Of course, quid pro quo, you're expected
To take certain duties on board

The future is littered with prizes
And though I'm the main addressee
The point that I must emphasize is
You won't get a sniff without me!!!

Scar: *So prepare for the coup of the century
Be prepared for the murkiest scam (Hyena Clan: Oooh... la, la, la!)
Meticulous planning (Hyena Clan: We'll have food!)
Tenacity spanning (Hyena Clan: Lots of food!)
Decades of denial (Hyena Clan: We repeat!)
Is simply why I'll (Hyena Clan: Endless meat!)

Be king, undisputed
Respected, saluted
And seen, for the wonder I am
Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared
Scar/Hyena Clan: Be prepared!

All: Yes, our teeth and ambitions are bared
Be prepared!

Gallery

Trivia

  • Toward the end of the song, Jeremy Irons, who provided the voice of Scar, said that after the part where he yells, "You won't get a sniff without me!" his voice gave out and he couldn't sing the rest of the song. Jim Cummings replaced Irons for the rest of the song. The * in the lyrics above indicates the transition to Cummings.
  • A reprise was originally written for this song, but was eventually cut because it was thought to be too scary. You can find it here.
  • In the soundtrack's lyric booklet, the line "You won't get a sniff without me!" was accidentally written as "You won't get a sniff out of me!"[1]
  • The sequence showing the Hyenas goosestepping was modelled after actual footage of Nazi troops marching in Berlin with Hitler watching.

References


v - e - d
The-lion-king-5207709991bbd
Media
Films: The Lion KingThe Lion King II: Simba's PrideThe Lion King 1½The Lion Guard: Return of the RoarVideoThe Lion King (live action film)

Television: Timon and PumbaaTimon and Pumbaa's Wild About SafetyThe Lion Guard
Soundtracks: SoundtrackRhythm of the Pride LandsThe Legacy CollectionThe Lion King CollectionReturn to Pride Rock: Songs Inspired by Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's PrideBest of the Lion KingThe Lion King 1½: Songs from Timon and Pumbaa's Hilarious AdventureOriginal Broadway Cast RecordingThe Lion Guard
Video Games: The Lion KingTimon and Pumbaa's Jungle GamesThe Lion King: Simba's Mighty AdventureKingdom Hearts IIAnimated Storybook: The Lion KingDisney UniverseDisney INFINITY: 2.0 EditionAdventures in Typing with Timon and PumbaaActivity CenterThe Lion King 2: Simba's Pride: Active PlayThe Lion King 2: Simba's Pride GameBrackThe Lion King 1½Disney Crossy Road
Books: Classic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookMarvel ComicsThe Art of the Lion KingSimba and the Lost WaterfallMorning at Pride RockSimba and Nala Help BomoThe Bright StarSimba and the Big FloodSimba the Fortune TellerThe Pal PatrolSimba's Hide and SeekFar from the Pride LandsSimba's Daring RescuePumbaa Runs Away from HomeNo Worries: A New Story About SimbaHow Simba Met Timon and PumbaaWay to Go, Simba!The Lion King 1½

Disney Parks
Rafiki's Planet WatchDisney's Art of Animation ResortDisney's Explorers LodgeCircle of Life: An Environmental FableDisney Animation BuildingIt's a Small WorldMickey's PhilharMagicRhythm of the JungleSorcerers of the Magic KingdomStitch and Friends Summer SurpriseThe Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management)The Lion Guard Adventure

Entertainment: AnimagiqueAnimazment - The MusicalDisney's BelieveDisney's Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic!Feel the MagicFestival of Family & FriendsFestival of the Lion KingIt's Party Time... with Mickey and FriendsMickey and the MagicianThe Golden MickeysThe Legend of the Lion KingVillains Tonight!
Restaurants: Restaurant Hakuna Matata
Parade: Disney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney Cinema ParadeDisney Magic on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeFlights of Fantasy ParadeJubilation!Mickey's Soundsational ParadeThe Lion King CelebrationThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightTree of Life AwakensWorld of Color
Halloween: Happy Hallowishes

Characters
The Lion King: SimbaNalaMufasaScarRafikiTimonPumbaaZazuShenzi, Banzai and EdSarabiSarafinaThe PridelandersHyena ClanWildebeestsCape BuffaloGopher

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: KiaraKovuZiraVitaniNukaOutsidersCrocodiles
The Lion King 1½: MaUncle MaxIron JoeMeerkat Colony
Timon and Pumbaa: The Native ChiefThe Three NativesMontyBaampuNobiFredQuintThe WoodpeckerBruceStinkyRalph and EddieTedsSavage LionBartholomewThe TarsierToucan DanVulture PoliceNedRabbitUncle BoarisUncle ErnieBoss BeaverBoy BeaverLester the WhaleThe TigressJackalThe CobraSpeedy the SnailSmolder the BearLittle JimmyIrwinEl ToroCount DownMr. PigWolverineJumbo Jumbo the ElephantCheetato and CheetataMartin PardonRita BookChef ClaudeCaptain BloodbeardCisco PigCisco Pig's GangDr. CaliostroTorgoThe Meerkat AngelPumbaa Jr.NefuDr. HappyLeslie LambeauMr. ButtonsSharlaHermanLaraMelClaudiusBahukaTutan PharaohGenieMadame CredenzaDuke MeerkatTatianaMother EagleBaby EarlKing LeopoldPrincess ClaudiaSigmund and LloydHeinrich and SchnitzelMad Dog McGraw, Billy the Goat, and Three-fingered JackelopeDr. ExceterSal MandersJungle InspectorPimon and Tumbaa
The Lion Guard: KionBungaFuliBeshteOnoTiifuZuriJanjaMzingoCheeziChunguJanja's ClanMakuuPuaBasiUshariJasiriMa TemboReireiGoigoiDogoDogo's BrothersTwigaTamaaSwalaMuhimuAjabuMakuchaOgpoaHayaBadiliMapiganoGumbaNneTanoVuruga VurugaMajinuni and HafifuJasiri's Clan
Printed Media: UruAhadiKopaPimbiBomaKulaZuzuJokaLulu
Deleted: DikuBaashoIggyHerr RhinoKwashiBhatiMheetuBanagiDaabiDwalaNaandaBintiLemutaTimon's FatherBuzzTesmaNala's Father

Episodes
Timon & Pumbaa

Season One: "Boara Boara" • "Saskatchewan Catch" • "Kenya Be My Friend?" • "Good Mousekeeping" • "Brazil Nuts" • "South Sea Sick/The Lion Sleeps Tonight" • "Never Everglades" • "Cooked Goose" • "Yukon Con" • "Doubt of Africa" • "How to Beat the High Costa Rica" • "Swiss Missed" • "Russia Hour" • "You Ghana Join the Club" • "Uganda Be an Elephant" • "To Kilimanjaro Bird" • "Rocky Mountain Lie" • "Amazon Quiver" • "French Fried" • "Big Top Breakfast" • "Madagascar About You" • "Truth or Zaire/Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" • "Mojave Desserted" • "Beauty and the Wildebeest" • "Don't Break the China" • "Can't Take a Yolk" • "Stand by Me" • "The Pain in Spain" • "Frantic Atlantic" • "Unlucky in Lesotho" • "Rafiki's Apprentice" • "Tanzania Zany" • "Guatemala Malarkey" • "Mombasa-In-Law" • "TV Dinner" • "Back Out in the Outback" • "Gabon with the Wind" • "Timon's Time Togo" • "The Law of the Jungle" • "Manhattan Mishap" • "Paraguay Parable" • "Be More Pacific" • "Going Uruguay" • "Let's Serengeti Out of Here" • "Congo on Like This" • "Okay Bayou?" • "Shake Your Djibouti" • "Yosemite Remedy" • "The Sky is Calling" • "Mozam-Beaked" • "Ocean Commotion"
Season Two: "Palm Beached" • "Jamaica Mistake?" • "Oregon Astray" • "New Guinea Pig" • "Isle of Manhood" • "Puttin' on the Brits" • "Klondike Con" • "Isle Find Out" • "Beetle Romania" • "Rumble in the Jungle" • "Wide Awake in Wonderland" • "Zazu's Off-by-One Day" • "Animal Barn" • "Roach Hotel" • "Africa-Dabra!" • "I Don't Bolivia" • "Shopping Mauled" • "Library Brouhaha" • "Catch Me if You Kenya" • "Scent of the South" • "Monster Massachusetts" • "Handle with Caribbean" • "Forbidden Pumbaa" • "Washington Applesauce" • "Alcatraz Mataz" • "Oahu Wahoo" • "I Think I Canada" • "Zazu's Off Day Off" • "Beast of Eden" • "Sense & Senegambia" • "Timon on the Range" • "The Man from J.U.N.G.L.E." • "Maine-Iacs" • "Fiji-Fi-Fo-Fum" • "Rome Alone" • "Amusement Bark" • "Once Upon a Timon" • "Home is Where the Hog Is" • "Beethoven's Whiff" • "Bumble in the Jungle" • "Mind Over Matterhorn"
Season Three: "Whiff" • "To Be Bee or Not to Be Bee" • "Luck Be a Meerkat" • "Just When You Thought You'd Cuisine it All" • "Lemonade Stand Off" • "Big Jungle Game" • "Boo Hoo Bouquet" • "So Sumo Me" • "Now Museum, Now You Don't" • "Visiting Pig-nitaries" • "The Truth About Kats and Hogs" • "Escape from Newark" • "Truth Be Told" • "Circus Jerks" • "Nest Best Thing" • "Super Hog-O" • "Don't Have the Vegas Idea" • "Hot Enough for Ya?" • "Werehog of London" • "Bigfoot, Littlebrain" • "Astro-Nots" • "Robin Hoodwinked" • "Seregenti Western" • "All Pets are Off" • "Two for the Zoo" • "The Swine in the Stone" • "You May Have Already Won Six Million Bakra" • "My Meteor, My Friend" • "Jungle Slickers" • "Don't Wake the Neighbear" • "Recipe for Disaster" • "Going Over-Boar'd" • "Ivy Beleaguered" • "Broadway Bound & Gagged" • "Steel Hog" • "Dealer's Choice Cut" • "Space Ham" • "You Bet Your Tukhus" • "No-Good Samaritan" • "Living in De Nile" • "One Tough Bug" • "Pirates of Pumbzance" • "Miss Perfect" • "Hakuna Matata U." • "Pig-Malion" • "Why No Rhino" • "War Hogs" • "The Big No Sleep" • "Common Scents" • "Mister Twister" • "Don't Be Elfish" • "Lights, Camera, Traction" • "The Running of the Bullies" • "Special Defects" • "Wishy Washy" • "Ice Escapades" • "Guru-Some" • "Jailhouse Shock" • "Nearly Departed" • "Early Bird Watchers" • "The Spy's the Limit" • "Ready, Aim, Fire" • "Timoncchio" • "Ghost Boosters" • "Stay Away from my Honey!" • "Sitting Pretty Awful" • "He's a Bad, Bad, Bad Sport" • "Dapper Duck Burgers" • "It Runs Good" • "Hot Air Buffoons" • "Timon in Love" • "Kahuna Potato" • "Mook Island" • "Cliphangers"

The Lion Guard
Season One: "Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots" • "The Rise of Makuu" • ""Bunga the Wise" • "Can't Wait to be Queen" • "Eye of the Beholder" • "The Kupatana Celebration" • "Fuli's New Family" • "The Search for Utamu" • "Follow That Hippo!" • "Call of the Drongo" • "Paintings and Predictions" • "The Mbali Fields Migration" • "Bunga and the King" • "The Imaginary Okapi" • "Too Many Termites" • "The Trouble With Galagos" • "Janja's New Crew" • "Baboons!" • "Beware the Zimwi" • "Lions of the Outlands" • "Never Roar Again" • "The Lost Gorillas" • "The Trail to Udugu" • "Ono's Idol" • "Beshte and the Hippo Lanes"

Locations
The Lion King Trilogy: AfricaThe Zuberi RiverMount KilimanjaroPride RockThe Pride LandsThe DesertThe Water HoleThe Elephant GraveyardThe GorgeJungleThe Great RiverRafiki's Ancient TreeThe Outlands

Timon and Pumbaa: Zazu's TreeMadame Credenza's PlaceSavage RockBoss Beaver's Log Land

Songs
The Lion King: Circle of LifeThe Morning ReportI Just Can't Wait to Be KingBe PreparedHakuna MatataCan You Feel the Love TonightHawaiian War Chant

Instrumental Scores: This LandHyenas...To Die ForUnder the StarsKing of Pride RockDidn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play with Your FoodWe are All ConnectedHyenas in the Pride LandsElephant GraveyardI Was Just Trying to Be BraveStampedeMufasa DiesIf You Ever Come Back We'll Kill YouBowling for BuzzardsWe Gotta Bone to Pick With YouKings of the PastNala, is It Really You?Remember Who You AreThis is My HomeThe Rightful King
Rhthym of the Pride Lands: KubeLea HalalelaIt's TimeLalaBusaNoyana
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: He Lives in YouWe Are OneMy LullabyUpendiOne of UsLove Will Find a Way
The Lion King 1½: Digga TunnahThat's All I NeedSunrise, SunsetGrazing in the Grass
Musical: Lioness HuntRafiki MournsOne by OneGrasslands ChantChow DownThe Madness of King ScarShadowlandEndless Night
Timon and Pumbaa: Alone TogetherStand by MeYummy, Yummy, YummyThe Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Lion Guard: Call of the GuardA Beautiful Day (Ni Siku Nzuri)Zuka ZamaTonight We StrikeKion's LamentHere Comes the Lion GuardWe're the Same (Sisi Ni Sawa)Don't Make a StinkBunga the WiseDuties of the KingOutta the WayJackal StyleOur Kupatana CommunityMy Own WayUtamuAll Hail The VulturesYour Hero InsideBird of a Thousand VoicesPanic and RunTrail to HopeLife in the Pride LandsWe'll Make You a MealFind Your RoarChungu's LamentBaboonsBeware of the ZimwiLions Over AllStand Up, Stand OutKuishi Ni KuchekaRunning with the KingIt is Time
Deleted: To Be KingWarthog RhapsodyThe Lion of the MoonOld Fearless BuzzThe Madness of King ScarBe Prepared (reprise)

See Also
King of the JungleMusicalList of Species seen in The Lion King FranchiseRoar of the EldersThe Disney AfternoonFind Out WhyHouse of MouseOne by One

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