The tag-line for the animated motion picture The Lion King was "Life's greatest adventure is finding your place in the Circle of Life." Lyricist Tim Rice was reportedly stunned by how quickly composer Elton John was able to put Rice's words to music. This effort was rewarded with an Academy Award nomination, but lost to "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" from the same movie, also written by Tim Rice, and composed and sung by Elton John. The movie's version of this song in the opening scene was sung by Carmen Twillie, and Elton John's version is included on the soundtrack.
The Lion King went on to become the best-grossing traditionally animated feature of all time, with the songs playing a key part. The song is also featured frequently in attractions that include The Lion King at Disney theme parks, such as parades.
Suggestion credit: Caitlin - Upper Township, New Jersey
This is one of Elton's favorite songs in his considerable canon. Working on The Lion King got him out of the cycle of recording and album and then touring, and it led to more work on musicals, as he later contributed to Aida, Billy Elliot and The Vampire Lestat.
Elton prefers "Circle Of Life" to his other Lion King hit contribution, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" While he rarely plays the later in concert, "Circle" is often in his setlist, as Elton thinks the lyric is "brilliant."
The song is one of the few hits Elton wrote without his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin. There were no hard feelings, as Taupin fully supported the effort. It was Tim Rice who approached Elton about putting the music to his words. Rice says that the movie studio didn't think Elton would do it, but when he asked, Elton was very excited to work on the project.
Disney had another hit on their hands the following year with the movie Pocahontas, and once again, they made reference to the circle of life in the movie's theme song, "Colors Of The Wind," as the heroine sings, "we are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends."
Jennifer Hudson performed this on season three of American Idol during Top 9 week when Elton John was the guest mentor.
Megan from Stevenson, AlHAAA!!! Since I have last commented, me and my best friend have made up our own African chants at the beginning and IT IS AMAZING!
Megan from Stevenson, AlBack when VCR's were big, I tore The Lion King up! lol Just because of this song! He's amazing! Ha! My high school concert band played this for our Spring Concert and it was completely awesome! The trumpet music was super hard...but it was worth it tho:)
Michael Scott from Punta Gorda, FlI thought back when Vice-President Albert Gore was campaigning for President that this would have been a good theme song for him to get the crowd inspired. I remember when Gov. Michael S. Dukakis was running in '88 he used the lionel richie song "All Night Long" as did the San Diego Padres in 1984..
Kenny from Oldsmar, FlYes indeed!!! This is a very touching and relevent song that reaches into your soul and is so true to life. It is the best song I believe that Elton John wrote and my be one of the best songs that will ever be written.
Constance from Dallas, TxThe broadway cover of this song is so much more powerful and beautiful. I saw the show in Las Vegas. Amazing.
Mary from Phoenix, AzOh, my bad....I just figured out that you said "in the musical version". Sorry.
Mary from Phoenix, AzSara, that was not a woman, playing Rafiki. That was Robert Guillone, aka. Benson.
Sara from Silver Spring, MdCarmen Twillie is a popular L.A. session vocalist, in the musical version the woman playing Rafiki sings it.
Caitlin from Upper Township, NjThis has got to be the greatest song of all time from the lion king. it's so deep and makes you think about where you're life is headed. all the songs from the movie are great, and the lion king is just an amazing movie. props to elton john