The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

18 February 2006

The lion sleeps a little better

From this very site, two summers ago:

Solomon Linda's bank account, alas, never saw much in the way of deposits from ["The Lion Sleeps Tonight," which he wrote as "Mbube" in 1939], and his estate — Linda died in 1962 — is now suing for royalties.

Abilene Music, the publisher of the song, has now reached a settlement with Linda's family, agreeing to pay back royalties and to cut them in on the take hereafter. The suit was originally filed against the Walt Disney Company, which had used the song in The Lion King and whose pockets were viewed as being the deepest; Disney, which has always insisted that its dealings with Abilene were upfront and auditable, is off the hook.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, though it's estimated that "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" has earned about $15 million over the years.

Posted at 9:02 AM to Tongue and Groove