We think about them frequently, even write songs about them. Just ask Andreas Vollenweider while he’s "Dancing with the Lion" or Gregory Porter when he sings "Be Good," which is subtitled "Lion’s Song." You can stretch the point with Warren Berhardt’s "Felinicity," because a lion is a really big cat. I can even argue that an entire form of music is named for one. Reggae music come from the Rastafarian religion of Jamaica, which worships his highness Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, who was known as the Lion of Judah. Bob Marley, one of the most famous proponents of both Rastafari and Reggae wrote him a song called "Iron Lion Zion."
And why is this important to jazz fans? Because August 10th is World Lion Day. It’s getting a lot of publicity this year because of the Cecil the Lion tragedy, and that is a good and bad thing. Bad because Cecil is dead and the remaining lions in the wild are endangered, good because it is raising our consciousness. The range of the Lion was once this entire planet. He was absolutely the King of the Beasts. Today, they are confined to a small patch of Asia and several places in Africa. Sad legacy for such a magnificent creature.
And what is contributing to the endangerment of the Lion, the Tigers and the Bears? Sad to say, it’s the growing population of man. We tipped the scale in our favor decades ago without providing large enough places for the wild things to live. Now we are lamenting their demise. There are over thirty organizations fighting to turn the tide for all the big cats, especially the Lion.
Hopefully, we will be able to continue to sing to them (from a safe distance) and not to their memory.
~Lydia Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Smooth Video of the Day: We all know the tune, but how many of us have actually seen Andreas Vollenweider play "Dancing With the Lion?"