“The Bare Necessities”
Writers: Terry Gilkyson
Original Release Date: 1967
A few months ago, I mentioned that The Jungle Book is my favorite classic Disney movie, so of course I know all the words to all the songs. But even though “I Wan’na Be Like You” is my jam, a close second is Baloo the Bear’s inspirational “The Bare Necessities”.
The clap that starts off the song is about as iconic as the cough at the beginning of All Time Low’s “Dear Maria, Count Me In”, and from there, you’re in for a good time. Baloo spends the song telling Mowgli that all he needs to be happy is food and a place to rest—which, when you think about it, really is all you need in life. He tells the man cub to let go of all the things that cause him worry and strife, and while it might sound like laziness, Baloo has a point: why worry about all the stuff you can’t control as long as you have the bare necessities?
Bowling for Soup covered the song a few years ago; and it’s weird, but oddly jammable. The acoustic beginning makes you think you’re in for a slowed down version, but within seconds they open the pit up and pitch headfirst into a rollicking rendition. I don’t think Bowling for Soup really take themselves seriously and this song is no exception: that whistling bit alone is enough to tell you they were just having fun.
As pop rock as this cover is, I prefer the original: I’m already convinced Baloo is my spirit animal (I too like to eat food and am a sucker for a back scratch), and I think this languid ode to appreciating what you have instead of looking for something more proves that this bear really knows what he’s talking about.