|...To Die For|
May 31, 1994
|“||Simba: Hey, Uncle Scar, will I like the surprise?
Scar: Simba, it's to die for.
Conception and development
Hans Zimmer composed the score of the 1994 film The Lion King as well as its original and Special Edition soundtracks. "...To Die For" was written to represent the stampede and its aftermath, most notably the death of Mufasa.
Zimmer composed the film's score linearly and so did not write "...To Die For" until he reached Mufasa's death. At this point, his experience became far more personal due to his own father's death when he was a child, which prompted him to compose a "serious requiem" to represent the sequence. He wrote the transition between the stampede and Mufasa's fatal fall intentionally, as he believed that "the audience is already thinking ahead, bracing for the tragedy to come."
Zimmer's influences stemmed largely from his German background, particularly the music of Mozart. He consulted with Lebo M on how to meld African and German culture for the piece. "I'm a German, so I'm going to write with a German accent, just the way we're speaking now," Zimmer said. "And let me go and take this into Africa and give it to Africa, and let them just respond with their culture, and see what happens where the two cultures collide, if another new thing can come out of it."
In the soundtracks
In the film
"...To Die For" is heard in The Lion King as a representation of the stampede, during which Scar baits Mufasa into rescuing his son, Simba. The score starts when Simba notices a herd of wildebeests stampeding into the gorge. It carries through his flight from the wildebeests and into Mufasa's successful rescue attempt. After Mufasa falls to his death, the score changes tone, moving into the mournful themes heard as Simba discovers and grieves over his father's body. It plays through his tearful confrontation with Scar and ends on the flute notes heard as he flees the Pride Lands.
In other media
The stage musical version of The Lion King breaks "...To Die For" into three separate cues: "Stampede - Part 1", "Stampede - Part 2", and "Eulogy". The score is heard in the same sequence of events as its film counterpart. However, unlike the film, the stage musical follows up the score with a song titled "Rafiki Mourns".
A remixed version of "...To Die For" is heard in the 1994 video game The Lion King. It plays during the stampede level.
- In a story reel for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, "...To Die For" serves as background music for Zira's suicide.
|The Lion King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
Circle of Life • I Just Can't Wait to Be King • Be Prepared • Hakuna Matata • Can You Feel the Love Tonight • This Land • ...To Die For • Under the Stars • King of Pride Rock • Circle of Life • I Just Can't Wait to Be King • Can You Feel the Love Tonight
|The Lion King: Special Edition|
Circle of Life • I Just Can't Wait to Be King • Be Prepared • Hakuna Matata • Can You Feel the Love Tonight • The Morning Report • This Land • ...To Die For • Under the Stars • King of Pride Rock • Circle of Life • I Just Can't Wait to Be King • Can You Feel the Love Tonight (End Title) • Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Remix) • The Hyenas