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I Wanna Be Like You

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I Wanna Be Like You
Originally performed by
Composer Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Performer(s) Louis Prima, Phil Harris (The Jungle Book)
Lou Bega (The Jungle Book Groove Party)
Smash Mouth (The Jungle Book 2)
Jonas Brothers (Disneymania 5)
Fall Out Boy (We Love Disney)
Feature films The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book 2
Short films
Television programs
Video games The Jungle Book Groove Party
Albums The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song
The Jungle Book
Classic Disney - Volume III
Disneymania 5
Disney's Greatest Volume 1
Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs
Now That's What I Call Disney (UK release)
Now That's What I Call Disney! 2
We Love Disney
Preceded by "The Bare Necessities"
Followed by "Colonel Hathi's March (Reprise)"
"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 the fire the apes would rule the Jungle because all animals fear it including Shere Khan

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.


King Louie:

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, (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

Mowgli: Gee, cousin Louie, you're doin' real good.
Louie: Now here's your part of the deal, cuz. Lay the secret on me of man's red fire.
Mowgli: 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
Come on, clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you!

Hey, a-baby-dot-doo
Doo-boo-doo-day, ze-bonz

King Louie:

Well, a-ree-bah-naza

King Louie:

Well, a-lah-bah-zini

King Louie:


King Louie:

Well, a-ha ha ha ha

King Louie:

Gettin' mad, baby!

Hall-owallo-a-la la

Mahata alottado



King Louie
Gingle do doot do do do doot

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!)

Can learn to be
Like someone
Like me-e!

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.

Other Versions

Performer(s) Title(s) Translations(s) Language
Booker Pittman & Alberto Perez (1968 version)
Márcio Simões & Mauro Ramos (2014 version)
Brazilian Portuguese
Тодор Стефанов (Todor Stefanov) & Николай Петров (Nikolai Petrov) Bulgarian
Svend Asmussen & Freddy Albeck Danish
Willem Duyn & Coen Flink Dutch
Esko Toivonen & Reino Bäckman (1968 version)
Eeki Mantere & Pekka Lehtosaari (1993 version)
José Bartel & Jean Stout "Être un homme comme vous" "Being a Man Like You" French
Klaus Havenstein & Edgar Ott German
עמי מנדלמן (Ami Mendelman) & דני ליטני (Danny Litani) Hebrew
Gyula Bodrogi & László Csákányi "Egy ilyen majom embernek való" Hungarian
Kristján Kristjánsson & Egill Ólafsson Icelandic
Lorenzo Spadoni & Tony De Falco "Voglio essere come te" Italian
? & 千葉順二 (Junji Chiba) (1968 version)
石原慎一 (Shinichi Ishihara) & 鹿野由之 (Yoshiyuki Kano) (1994 version)
Flavio Farfán & Germán "Tin Tin" Valdés Latin American Spanish
Harald Heide-Steen Jr. & Paul Åge Johannessen Norwegian
Andrzej Arciszewski & Jan Prochyra Polish
Pedro Malagueta & José Jorge Duarte 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



Detail of the french version

The french lyrics are in normal type, the english translation of the french is in italic.

Je suis le roi de la danse 

I am the king of Dance…

Oh, la jungle est à mes pieds

Oh, the jungle's subjected to ME

De la puissance, j'suis au plus haut !

I'm on highest level of power !

Et pourtant je dois vous envier…

Despite that I must be jealous of you…

Je voudrais devenir un homme,

I would like to become a man,

Ce serait merveilleux !

That would be wonderful,

Vivre pareil aux autres hommes

Living just like the other men,

Loin des singes ennuyeux

Far from the boring monkeys !

Oh, oobee doo

Oh, oobee-doo !

J'voudrais marcher comme vous

I'd like to walk like you,

Et parler comme vous

And to talk like you,

Faire comme vous, tout !

Do do like you, everything !

Un singe comme moi 

An ape like me

Pourrait, je crois

Could, I believe,

Être parfois bien plus humain qu'vous

Be sometimes far more human than yourself !

MOWGLI: Oh, vrai cousin Louie

Oh, sure cousin Louie,

Tu fais ça très bien !

You're very good at this !

LOUIE: Et bien maintenant à toi de jouer, cousin

Well now, all's up to you, cousin !

Je veux savoir le secret du feu rouge des hommes !

I want the secret of the red fire of the humans !

MOWGLI: Mais, j'ai jamais appris à faire du feu !

Why, I never learned how to do fire !

LOUIE: Pourtant crois-moi bien, je suis pas dupe !

Oh, believe me I'm not fooled ! 

Si je marchande avec vous

If I make business with you,

C'est que je désire le moyen d'être

That's because I desire a way to be

Un homme, un point c'est tout  A man and that is all ! Dis-moi le secret pour être un homme !

Tell me the secret that make the man a man !

Est-ce vraiment si mystérieux ?

Is it that mysterious ?

Pour moi, faire éclore la grande fleur rouge

For me, to make the great red flower hatch,

Ce serait merveilleux

It would be wonderful !

LOUIE: Ouhouhou ! J'voudrais marcher comme vou-ou-ous…

Oohoohoo ! I'd like to walk like you-oo-oo…

LOUIE, MOWGLI, BALOO: Et parler comme vous

And talk like you

Faire comme vous, tout

Do like you, everything

Car je l'avoue

Because, I admit it,

Quelqu'un comme moi

Someone like me,

C'est vrai, je crois peut devenir comme vous

I believe it's true, can become like you !

BALOO and THE MONKEY WITH THE WHITE HAIR: Je crois peut devenir comme moi

I believe, can become like me !

BALOO (talking): C'qu'on s'amuse ici !

How much fun do we have here !

LOUIE, MOWGLI, BALOO, ALL THE MONKEYS: C'est vrai, je crois, peut devenir comme moi !

That's true, I believe, can become like me ! 

BALOO (talking): Yeah !

Yeah !

LOUIE, MOWGLI, BALOO, ALL THE MONKEYS: Je crois, peut devenir comme vous !

I believe, can become like you !

LOUIE (talking): Encore une fois !

One more time !

BALOO (losing his disguise): C'est vrai je crois, peut devenir comme moioioioi !

That's true, I believe, can become like meee--eee !

Boudda, boudda, boudda bouddaaa… (talking) … bouda ?…

Buda, Buda, buda budaaa… (talking) …buda…

Uses in popular culture

In 2009, "I Wan'na Be Like You" was used in a British anti-smoking public information film. It showed children copying everything their parents did (for example, boys putting shaving cream on their faces, girls dressing up in their mothers' best clothes and both genders washing the car), and "I Wan'na Be Like You" is playing throughout the advertisement, but it stops when a girl puts a crayon to her mouth in imitation of her mother smoking. It stops with the voiceover saying, "If you smoke, your children are more likely to."

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Live Action Films: Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book | The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story | The Jungle Book
TV Series: Jungle Cubs
Video Games: The Jungle Book | The Jungle Book Groove Party
Music: Soundtrack | More Jungle Book... Further Adventures of Baloo and Mowgli
Books: Big Golden Book | Classic Storybook | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading | Golden Sight 'n' Sound Book | Little Golden Book | The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack | Mowgli's Rainy Day

Disney Parks

Disney's Explorers Lodge | Animagique | Celebrate the Magic | Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost | Disney's Believe | Disney's Wishes | Disney Dreams! | Disneyland Forever | Fantasmic! | Garden of the Twelve Friends | It's a Small World | Journey into the Jungle Book | La Forêt de l’Enchantement: Une aventure musicale Disney | Mickey and the Magical Map | Mickey and the Wondrous Book | One Man's Dream | One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!


Original: Mowgli | Baloo | Bagheera | King Louie | Shere Khan | Kaa | Colonel Hathi | Winifred | Hathi, Jr. | Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy, and Dizzy | Akela | Rama | Shanti | Raksha | Wolf Pups | Wolf Council | Jungle Patrol | Flunkey | Bandar-log
Deleted characters: Rocky the Rhino | Buldeo | Tabaqui
Sequel: Ranjan | Ranjan's father | Messua | Shanti's mother | Lucky
Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book: Grey Brother | Nathoo | Kitty Brydon | Colonel Geoffrey Brydon | Sergeant Claibourne | Dr. Julius Plumford | William Boone | Sergeant Harley | Buldeo (1994 Film) | Tabaqui (1994 Film) | Lt. John Wilkins | Indian Bandits | Alice, Rose, and Margaret
Jungle Cubs: Arthur and Cecil | The Croc | Mahra | Benny and Clyde | Ned, Jed & Fred | Mungo | Leah | Cain | Red Dogs | Winifred's Uncle | McCoy | Dictator Turtle | Whitehood
House of Mouse: King Larry


Jungle | Ancient Ruins | Man Village | India | Asia


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"
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 Necessities | Who Framed Roger Rabbit | TaleSpin | House of Mouse | Disney's Jungle Boogie

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