Song of the Day: Bongo Bong by Manu Chao

Toucan by NeoRike

“Bongo Bong” is the first solo single by Manu Chao from his first album, Clandestino.

Lyrics:

Mama was queen of the mambo, Papa was king of the Congo
Deep down in the jungle I started bangin’ my first bongo
Every monkey’d like to be in my place instead of me
‘Cause I’m the king of bongo, baby I’m the king of bongo bong

I went to the big town where there is a lot of sound
From the jungle to the city looking for a bigger crown
So I play my boogie for the people of big city
But they don’t go crazy when I’m bangin’ on my boogie

I’m the “king of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come, baby
“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”

Nobody’d like to be in my place instead of me
‘Cause nobody go crazy when I’m bangin’ on my boogie
I’m a king without a crown, hanging loose in a big town
But I’m the king of bongo, baby I’m the king of bongo bong

“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come, baby
“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come

They say that I’m a clown, making too much dirty sound
They say there is no place for little monkey in this town
Nobody’d like to be in my place instead of me
‘Cause nobody go crazy when I’m bangin’ on my boogie

I’m the “king of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come, baby
“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come

Bangin’ on my bongo all that swing belongs to me
I’m so happy there’s nobody in my place instead of me
I’m a king without a crown, hanging loose in a big town
I’m the king of bongo, baby I’m the king of bongo bong

“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come, baby
“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come

Mama was queen of the mambo, Papa was king of the Congo
Deep down in the jungle I started bangin’ my first bongo
Every monkey’d like to be in my place instead of me
‘Cause I’m the king of bongo, baby I’m the king of bongo bong

Hear me when I come
Hear me when I come, baby
“King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong”
Hear me when I come

……

It is one of his most successful and recognisable songs — a remake of Mano Negra’s song (Mano Negra was his own band), “King of Bongo” (1991), which has its roots in a 1939 recording of “King of the Bongo Bong” by the trumpeter Roy Eldridge. It also uses the background music from Black Uhuru’s song “Bull ina di Pen” from their “‘Anthem” album. It is part of a medley with “Je ne t’aime plus” on the album. The music has been reused for other songs such as “Mr. Bobby” which was first released on this single before being re-recorded for his second albumand “Homens” from the same album.

In 2006, a cover version by Robbie Williams, combining “Bongo Bong” and “Je ne t’aime plus” in one track (much in the way the tracks are interwined on Clandestino), appeared on Williams’ album Rudebox and was released as a single release of its own in 2007. The song has also been remixed by breakbeat artists Cut & Run, and by drum and bass duo Ed Solo and Deekline.

Manu Chao

Birth name José-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao Ortega
Also known as Oscar Tramor
Born June 21, 1961 (age 52)
Paris, France
Genres Alternative rock, ska, punk,reggae, Latin Alternative, salsa
Occupations Musician, record producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard
Years active 1984–present
Labels Nacional Records (U.S.)
Because Music (France)
Virgin Records
Associated acts Mano Negra
Radio Bemba Sound System
Website http://www.manuchao.net

image by Luiz Henrique T. de Assunção 

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