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"I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" is a song sung by King Louie, Baloo and Mowgli from Walt Disney's 1967 film, The Jungle Book. The song was sung by Louis Prima and written by songwriters Robert and Richard Sherman.

The lyrics tell about King Louie's wish to be a man and know how to make fire, possibly knowing that, with fire, the apes would rule the Jungle because all animals fear it including Shere Khan. It was included in Disney Sing Along Songs: The Bare Necessities, Let's Go to the Circus, Disney Sing Along Songs: Collection of All Time Favorites: The Magic Years, and Disney Sing Along Songs: Flik's Musical Adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Richard Sherman said he and his brother aimed for a jazz sound, with a Dixieland-like melody. The instrumentals were originally recorded by Prima - who also played the trumpet - and his band, Sam Butera & The Witnesses, but the music was replaced by one written by the film's composer, George Bruns, and orchestrated by Walter Sheets. The "scat dialogue" between Baloo and King Louie was the result of two recording sessions. Louis Prima recorded first, with the intent that Baloo - played in his recording by Butera - would simply repeat what Louie scatted, but Phil Harris decided not to imitate Prima's recording and made up his own. The song was released the same date as the motion picture itself.

Lyrics

King Louie: Now I'm the king of the swingers, hooo--
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, ooh-bee-doo, (Oop-dee-wee)
I wanna be like you-hu-hu (Hop-dee-doo-bee-do-bow)
I wanna walk like you (Cheep)
Talk like you (Cheep)
To-o-oo! (Wee-bee-dee-bee-dee-boo)
You'll see it's tru-u-ue (Shoo-be-dee-doo)
An ape like me-e-e (Scooby-doo-bee-doo-bee)
Can learn to be
Hu-u-uman
To-o-oo!

(Instrumental Bridge)

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
Come on, clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you!

(Instrumental Bridge)

Baloo: HEY!
De-zop-ba-ronie
Hap-da-dee-ba-lat
Da-dat-dat-non
Hey, a-baby-dot-doo
Zaba-doo-doo-day-doo-bop
Doo-boo-doo-day, ze-bonz
Za-bop-bop-bobby

King Louie: Za-bah-doo-dee!
Baloo: Well, a-ree-bah-naza
King Louie: He-beh-do-beh-doy
Baloo: Well, a-lah-bah-zini
King Louie: Wadahlabat-boodalabat
Baloo: Seebahlalat-dodie
King Louie: Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Baloo: Well, a-ha ha ha ha
King Louie: Rrrrahr-rrrahr!
Baloo: Gettin' mad, baby!
Monkey: Hall-owallo-a-la la
Baloo: Mahata alottado
Monkey: Hodolata-deetle-do
Baloo: Do-zootle-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot
King Louie Gingle do doot do do do doot
Baloo: Zeep-i-doo-da hab a daah

Louie, Baloo and Mowgli (variously):
You hoo hoo! (Oop-dee-wee)
I wanna be like you-u-u! (Hop-dee-doo-bee-do-bow)
I wanna walk like you! (Cheep)
Talk like you (Cheep)
To-o-oo! (Wee-bee-dee-bee-dee-boo)
You'll see it's tru-u-ue! (Shoo-be-dee-doo)
Someone like me-e-e (Scooby-doo-bee-doo-bee)
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like me
(Take me home, daddy!)
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like you
(One more time!)

Baloo: Yeah!
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like me-e!
Cee-de-do-bop-bop
Bada-doodle
Dot-andot-andot-andot-andot...
(Man...)

Now I'm the king of the swingers, whoa
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, ooh-bee-doo,
I wanna be like you-hu-hu
I wanna walk like you
Talk like you
To-o-oo!
You'll see it's tru-u-ue
Someone like me-e-e
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like you-hu-hu!

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

Oh, ooh-bee-doo,
I wanna be like you-hu-hu
I wanna walk like you
Talk like you
To-o-oo!
You'll see it's tru-u-ue
Someone like me-e-e
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like you-hu-hu!

Now you might think it's ridiculous
That me, a Gigantopithecus
Would ever dream, I'd like to team
The likes of you, mancub
But together, we'd have powers
All the jungle's treasures ours
I got desire, you've got the fire
But the dream I dream takes two!

So, oooh,
I wanna be like you-hu-hu
I wanna use that flame
Just the same
You can do it, too
Oh, how magnifiecus it would be
A Gigantopithecus like me
Could learn to do
Like you humans do
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like you
Can learn to be
Like someone
Like me!

Videos

Cover versions

Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen released a single of "I Wanna Be Like You" (without an apostrophe in the title) in 1968 and it also featured on their 1969 album King Of The Swingers. Pinky and Perky recorded a version for their Film Parade album in 1970 and also released the song as a single. On the 1990 collection "Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films," the song appears on "Medley Two" as recorded by Los Lobos, who play the song occasionally in their live shows. On 4 May 1994 Phish performed a truly Phish-styled version at The Metropolis Concert Hall in Montreal, Quebec. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy did a cover of this song on the Swingers soundtrack, even though the song does not appear in the film. The band later released the song on their 1999 album, This Beautiful Life. Voodoo Glow Skulls recorded a ska version of the song for the 2002 Japanese-Exclusive album Dive into Disney. The Jungle Book 2, released in 2003, featured the band Smash Mouth playing the song during the end credits of the film; the song also appeared on the film's soundtrack and in the first Disneymania volume. In the Australian version, Nikki Webster covers the song, which is also featured on her Best of album. A version by the Turnpike Cruisers appeared on the second Blood on the Cats LP. The 2005 album, En Vivo by Gabriel Ríos, contains a cover of the song. In 2007, a pop rock cover was recorded by the Jonas Brothers for Disneymania 5. Los Lobos recorded a version for the tribute album Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films; this version also appeared on the compilation album Just Another Band From East L.A. - A Collection.

British pop singer Paolo Nutini performed "I Wanna Be Like You" at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival.

On October 23, 2010, X Factor contestant, Katie Waissel pleased the judges with her surprise selection of the song.

Craig David sang a cover of the song for an award ceremony in the U.K; the video is on YouTube.

In 2013, the most recent cover of the song was by Robbie Williams and Olly Murs for Williams's swing album Swings Both Ways.

In the 2016 filmChristopher Walken performs the song in-character as King Louie, though the lyrics are altered to reflect the fact that Louie is now a Giganthopithecus. In addition, the backup chorus is absent and an extra verse was added by Richard Sherman.

Other versions

Performer(s) Title(s) Translations(s) Language
عاطف الشرقاوي & سامي مغاوري (Sami Meghawri & Atef ِAl Sharqawi) (1999 version) "نفسي أكون إنسان" "I Wanna Be A Human" Arabic
Booker Pittman & Alberto Perez (1968 version)
Márcio Simões & Mauro Ramos (2014 version)
"O Rei do Iê-Iê-Iê" "The King of Yeah-Yeah-Yeah" Brazilian Portuguese
Тодор Стефанов (Todor Stefanov) & Николай Петров (Nikolai Petrov) Bulgarian
Cantonese
? & Soběslav Sejk (1975 version)
? & Radan Rusev (1994 version)
Czech
Svend Asmussen & Freddy Albeck Danish
Willem Duyn & Coen Flink Dutch
Esko Toivonen & Reino Bäckman (1968 version)
Eeki Mantere & Pekka Lehtosaari (1993 version)
Finnish
José Bartel & Jean Stout "Être un homme comme vous" "Being a Man Like You" French
Klaus Havenstein & Edgar Ott German
Greek
עמי מנדלמן (Ami Mendelman) & דני ליטני (Danny Litani) Hebrew
Hindi
Gyula Bodrogi & László Csákányi "Egy ilyen majom embernek való" Hungarian
Kristján Kristjánsson & Egill Ólafsson Icelandic
Indonesian
Lorenzo Spadoni & Tony De Falco "Voglio essere come te" "I Want to be Like You" Italian
? & 千葉順二 (Junji Chiba) (1968 version)
石原慎一 (Shinichi Ishihara) & 鹿野由之 (Yoshiyuki Kano) (1994 version)
"君のようになりたい" (Kimi no Yō ni Naritai) "I'd like to be like you" Japanese
Korean
Flavio Farfán & Germán "Tin Tin" Valdés "Quiero Ser Como Tú" "I Wanna Be Like You" Latin American Spanish
? & 雷威遠 (Lei Wei-Yuan) Mandarin
Harald Heide-Steen Jr. & Paul Åge Johannessen Norwegian

Andrzej Arciszewski & Jan Prochyra (1968)

Piotr Fronczewski (2016)

"Człowiekiem chciałbym być" (1968)

"Gdybym jak ty być mógł" (2016)

"I would like to be a Man" (1968)

"If I could be Like You" (2016)

Polish
Pedro Malagueta & José Jorge Duarte "Quero Ser Como Tu" "I Wanna Be Like You" Portuguese
Ioan Gyuri Pascu & Alexandru Arșinel Romanian
Олег Анофриев (Oleg Anofriev) & Дмитрий Назаров (Dmitry Nazarov) Russian
Marián Labuda st. & Oldo Hlaváček Slovak
Leppe Sundevall & Rolf Bengtsson Swedish
Tamil

Telugu

? & กฤษณะ ศฤงคารนนท์ (Kritsana Saringkhannon) Thai
Turkish
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v - e - d
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Media
Animated Films: The Jungle BookThe Jungle Book 2Video

Live Action Films: Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle BookThe Jungle Book: Mowgli's StoryThe Jungle BookThe Jungle Book 2
TV Series: Jungle Cubs
Video Games: The Jungle BookThe Jungle Book Groove PartyThe Jungle Book: Mowgli's Wild AdventureThe Jungle Book: Mowgli's Run
Music: SoundtrackMore Jungle Book... Further Adventures of Baloo and Mowgli
Books: Big Golden BookClassic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookThe Strength of the Wolf is the PackMowgli's Rainy Day

Disney Parks
Animated film: Disney's Explorers LodgeDisney Animation BuildingGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small WorldRhythm of the Jungle

Live action: The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic
Entertainment: AnimagiqueDisney's BelieveDisney's WishesDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicDisney Movie MagicFantasmic!It's Party Time... with Mickey and FriendsJourney into the Jungle BookLa Forêt de l’Enchantement: Une aventure musicale DisneyMickey's Gift of DreamsMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookMickey presents: “Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris”One Man's DreamOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!
Restaurants: Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost
Shops: Adventureland Bazaar
Parade: Disney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnDisney Magic on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeFlights of Fantasy ParadeJubilation!Mickey's Soundsational ParadeThe Wonderful World of Disney Parade
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterTree of Life Awakens
Halloween: Happy Hallowishes

Characters
Original: MowgliBalooBagheeraKing LouieShere KhanKaaColonel HathiWinifredHathi, Jr.Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy, and DizzyAkelaRamaShantiRakshaWolf PupsWolf CouncilJungle PatrolFlunkeyBandar-log

Deleted characters: Rocky the RhinoBuldeoTabaqui
Sequel: RanjanRanjan's fatherMessuaShanti's motherLucky
Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book: Grey BrotherNathooKitty BrydonColonel Geoffrey BrydonSergeant ClaibourneDr. Julius PlumfordWilliam BooneSergeant HarleyBuldeoTabaquiLt. John WilkinsIndian BanditsAlice, Rose, and Margaret
Jungle Cubs: Arthur and CecilThe CrocMahraBenny and ClydeNed, Jed & FredMungoLeahCainDholesWinifred's UncleMcCoyDictator TurtleWhitehood
House of Mouse: King Larry

Locations
JungleAncient RuinsMan VillageIndiaAsia
Episodes
Season One: "A Night in the Wasteland" • "How the Panther Lost His Roar / The Humans Must Be Crazy" • "Hathi Meets His Match / Buffaloed" • "Mondo Mungo / Bare Necessities" • "Who Wants to Be a Baboon?" • "Red Dogs" • "The Great Kaadini" • "Hulla Baloo / Shere Bliss" • "Treasure of the Middle Jungle" • "Feather Brains / Benny & Clyde" • "Splendor in the Mud" • "Trouble in the Jungle / Fool Me Once..." • "The Coming of the Wolves"

Season Two: "The Ape Who Would Be King" • "Trunks for the Memories / Kasaba Ball" • "Hathi's Makeover / Curse of the Magnificent Melon" • "The Five Bananas / Birthday Snake" • "Old Green Teeth / The Elephant Who Couldn't Say No" • "Hair Ball / A Tail of Two Tails" • "Waiting for Baloo / Tree for Two" • "Nice Tiger / Sleepless in the Jungle"

Songs
Original: "Colonel Hathi's March" • "The Bare Necessities" • "I Wanna Be Like You" • "Trust in Me" • "That's What Friends are For" • "My Own Home"

Deleted songs: "Brothers All" • "The Song of the Seeonee" • "Monkey See, Monkey Do" • "I Knew I Belonged to Her" • "In A Day's Work" • "The Mighty Hunters"
More Jungle Book: "Baloo's Blues" • "Jungle Fever" • "If You Wanna See Some Strange Behavior (Take a Look at Man)" • "It's a Kick"
Jungle Cubs: "Take Your Sweet, Sweet Time" • "Jungle Cub Love" • "Everything's Gonna Be Right with the World"
The Jungle Book Groove Party: "The Jungle's No Place for a Boy" • "Join the Ranks" • "Go Bananas in the Coconut Tree" • "A Mood for Food" • "We Are the Vultures" • "Run" • "A Brand New Day"
Sequel: "The Jungle Rhythm" • "W-I-L-D" • "Right Where I Belong"

See Also
Disney Sing Along Songs: The Bare NecessitiesWho Framed Roger RabbitTaleSpinHouse of MouseDisney's Jungle Boogie