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13. 'The Bare Necessities' (from 'The Jungle Book')
Songwriters: Terry Gilkyson
Who it lost to: “Talk To The Animals” ("Doctor Dolittle")
Why it’s still great today: Is there any kid who doesn’t grow up watching Baloo sing the song to Mowgli? It’s a fun tune, but it’s also a mantra for how to live your life. It was “Hakuna Matata” before there was a “Hakuna Matata.” In that brilliant Disney way, a bear delivers a song that serves as a little boy’s North Star and he doesn’t even realize the wisdom imparted until later. Every few years, whether it’s Los Lobos or Brian Wilson or Harry Connick Jr., someone new covers it to give it an extended life. With its cheery, bouncy melody and great lyrics (just try to sing the tongue-twisting “prickly pear paw" verse), it’s a timeless song for all creatures — four and two-legged —to enjoy.
- Melinda Newman