May 31, 1994
|“||Banzai: What are we supposed to do, kill Mufasa?|
"Be Prepared" is a song composed by Elton John for The Lion King. It was released on May 31, 1994, as part of the film's soundtrack. It is sung by Scar and the hyenas in anticipation of Mufasa's death.
|I know that your powers of retention|
|Are as wet as a warthog's backside|
|But thick as you are, pay attention!|
|My words are a matter of pride|
|It's clear from your vacant expressions|
|The lights are not all on upstairs|
|But we're talking kings and successions|
|Even you can't be caught unawares!|
|So prepare for the chance of a lifetime|
|Be prepared for sensational news|
|A shining new era|
|Is tiptoeing nearer|
|And where do we feature?|
|Just listen to teacher|
|I know it sounds sordid|
|But you'll be rewarded|
|When at last I am given my dues|
|And injustice deliciously squared|
|Yeah! Be prepared!|
|Yeah-heh! We'll be prepared! Heh!|
|For the death of the king.|
|Why? Is he sick?|
|No, fool. We're gonna kill him.|
|And Simba, too.|
|Who needs a king?|
|Banzai and Shenzi:|
|No king! No king!|
|La, la, la, la, la, la!|
|There will be a king!|
|Hey, but you said-|
|I will be king!|
|Stick with me, and you'll never go hungry again!|
|Banzai and Shenzi: (spoken)|
|Yay! All right! All right!|
|Long live the king!|
|Long live the king!|
|Long live the king!|
|It's great that we'll soon be connected|
|With a king who'll be all-time adored.|
|Of course, quid pro quo, you're expected|
|To take certain duties on board|
|The future is littered with prizes|
|And though I'm the main addressee|
|The point that I must emphasize is|
|You won't get a sniff without me!|
|So prepare for the coup of the century|
|Be prepared for the murkiest scam|
|(We'll have food!)|
|(Lots of food!)|
|Decades of denial|
|Is simply why I'll|
|Be king undisputed|
|And seen for the wonder I am!|
|Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared|
Yes, our teeth and ambitions are bared
- This song is briefly heard in The Lion King 1½ when Timon and Pumbaa wander into the Elephant Graveyard.
- "I never thought hyenas essential.
- They're crude and unspeakably plain.
- But maybe they've a glimmer of potential,
- If allied to my vision and brain."
- Jeremy Irons sang the beginning of the song, but he damaged his vocal chords singing, "You won't get a sniff without me!" Jim Cummings was brought in to finish the song.
- Though Jeremy Irons is often credited for singing the song, Jim Cummings has stated that he sang most of the song, while Irons only did some of the talking.However, footage from the film's recording sessions available on the film's 2017 Blu-ray release reveals that Irons sang the entire first verse of the song, while a cursory analysis of the recording suggests (due to a subtle but evident shift in vocal timbre heard in Scar's lead vocal) that Cummings only sang the final verse ("Be prepared for the coup of the century" and onwards etc.) in the final cut of the film. Cummings has also confirmed this in other interviews, claiming that he sang this last verse due to Irons developing vocal problems during the recording session.
- In early drafts of the film, "Be Prepared" was titled "Thanks to Me" and focused on Scar gloating to the hyenas about murdering Mufasa and chasing off Simba.
- Tim Rice wrote a post-stampede reprise of the song in which Scar introduces the hyenas to the pride. However, it was ultimately scrapped due to a lively musical number being deemed inappropriate so shortly after the death of Mufasa.
- Another short reprise was written in which Scar tries to seduce Nala into being his queen. When she rejects him, he sings a longer reprise of Be Prepared as he introduces the pride to his executive staff, the hyenas.
|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
|The Lion King Collection|
He Lives in You • Circle of Life • Lea Halalela • Upendi • Busa • One of Us • Love Will Find a Way • Can You Feel the Love Tonight • We Are One • One By One • It's Time • Noyana • In Youpendi • Be Prepared • He Lives In You • My Lullaby • Hakuna Matata • I Just Can't Wait to Be King • The Lion Sleeps Tonight