What is the Real Meaning of “Hakuna Matata” Song from The Lion King Movie? (Lyrics Analysis and Song Meaning)

“Hakuna Matata” is a song from The Lion King Original Motion Picture Soundtrack released in 1994. The Walt Disney production movie is one of the most famous children’s classics to-date. The Lion King movie is also the 9th best selling animated movie of all time. It is no wonder, that after 25 years, a reboot of this movie is coming up in July 2019.

While other songs from the movie such as “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life” are dedicated to giving out a profound meaning, “Hakuna Matata” is delivered to relieve your stress. The song teaches about the philosophy of “Hakuna Matata” adopted by Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog.

What Does “Hakuna Matata” Mean?

The phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’ is adopted from the language of Swahili from Central East Africa.

“Hakuna” in Swahili roughly translates to “there is not here” and “Matata” translates to “problems.” Combine together and you get an adjusted meaning of “there are no problems here.”

Within the song itself, Timon explains what the phrase means;

Hakuna matata! Ain’t no passing craze!

It means no worries, for the rest of your days… – Genius.com

The song is written by Elton John and Tim Rice, while performed by Matthew Broderick, Joseph Williams, Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane and Jason Weaver, and is produced by Hans Zimmer for the movie soundtrack album.

Watch “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King OST


Download “Hakuna Matata” Song on iTunes and Amazon
Buy ‘The Lion King’ Official Soundtrack Album on iTunes and Amazon

In The Lion King movie, this song plays after Timon and Pumbaa discovers Simba lost in the desert. Simba seemed worried and lost, so Timon and Pumbaa take it upon themselves to cheer the young Simba. They explain their carefree lifestyle and how not to worry about what others think and taking life easy. They take a stroll through the jungle singing the song and Simba grows up to an adult lion by the end of the song.

Lyrics Analysis and Song Meaning of “Hakuna Matata”

There is no lyrical structure in the song as the song progresses in the form of a dialogue between Timon and Pumbaa to Simba.

Timon and Pumbaa explain what ‘Hakuna Matata’ is throughout the song. They term it as their ‘problem-free philosophy.’ Could be useful for us as well.

Then the comedic duo goes on to narrate a story from Pumbaa’s life that led him to follow this lifestyle. Pumbaa explains how he had no friends growing up because of his ‘aroma.’ After a meal he gets flatulent and nobody could withstand the smell of it. Basically, his deadly farts chased away all his friends.

He could not control his farts and was ridiculed all life for this. He was down and hurt and even thought of changing his name. But what good would that do!

“What’s in a name?” phrase is a reference to Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ The Lion King movie is inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’

Pumbaa starts to sing his next line “Everytime that I…” and gets cut short by Timon saying “not in front of the kids.” The previous line ends with ‘downhearted’ and we can only assume he got cut short before he said “farted.” This movie is that PG-13.

There you have it. A full analysis of the iconic track from The Lion King movie. Simba grows up with Timon and Pumbaa as his best friends till the end. He, however, does take his rule of The Pride lands very seriously but does not give up on stressing too much.

Let us hear what you have to say about “Hakuna Matata” song and the lyrics. Drop in your ideas in the comments section below.

Complete Lyrics to “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King Soundtrack

Adam McDonald

Hi! I am the founder and lead author and editor of Justrandomthings music community. A vast range of personal interests from Hip-Hop to Country to Hard Rock and Punk music will keep you entertained.

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