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(Un)Covered: I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)

“I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)”
Writers: Robert and Richard Sherman
Original Release Date: October 18, 1967

As you may know, a live-action version of The Jungle Book just came out. The original cartoon has been my favorite Disney movie for my entire life, so this week’s (Un)Covered is dedicated to one of the greatest songs to ever exist: “I Wan’na Be Like You”.


Yes, it’s sung by monkeys (King Louie is an orangutan, to be specific), but what you might not know is that Louie’s voice was provided by Louis Prima, who was also known as “The King of Swing”. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve probably heard at least one of the songs he recorded in his nearly fifty year career. The song itself is bright and fun, perfect for a Disney movie, and incorporates a lot of elements that were popular in the sixties: a Dixieland melody, and a whole lot of jazz, including scatting.

Fall Out Boy didn’t monkey around when it came to covering the primates’ anthem for the We Love Disney compilation. If you didn’t already think Patrick Stump had the most soulful voice in the business, his scatting will be enough to convince you that he is incredibly talented. The band brings a rock ‘n’ roll vibe to the normally jazzy tune, while still keeping it fun and light, with steady percussion that makes you want to grab someone’s hand and swing them around the dancefloor.

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