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...To Die For (Score)
General Information

Hans Zimmer


May 31, 1994





Usage Information

The Lion King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


The Lion King


Anonymous Audio File Icon Clip Art...To Die For (Score).ogg 

I mean, the main emphasis was, for me, you know, really, how are we going to get in a children's movie to the idea that the father dies and make it an emotional yet not horrifying experience, but make it something that, you know, children might actually want to start asking some questions about.
Hans Zimmer on scoring The Lion King[1]

"...To Die For (Score)" is a musical piece composed by Hans Zimmer for The Lion King. It was released on May 31, 1994, as part of the original motion picture soundtrack.


Initially, composer Hans Zimmer struggled to score The Lion King due to a lack of human characters. Over time, he learned to treat the animals as if they were human, and he used his music to depict their personal struggles. Mufasa's death in particular struck a chord with him due to the loss of his own father at the age of six. This made scoring The Lion King a very personal experience:

"This story – this metaphor – was really about a son and his father, and losing your father at a young age, and it was something that had happened to me, and I'd never dealt with it. So, you know, suddenly, I'm writing a requiem for my father, and the whole thing became intensely personal."[2]

"...To Die For (Score)" was released on May 31, 1994, as part of the original motion picture soundtrack. It is one of four scores from the release, including "This Land (Score)", "Under the Stars (Score)", and "King of Pride Rock (Score)". Shortly after the release of the original motion picture soundtrack, the complete film score was released, though it was retracted after one day. During its brief release, "...To Die For (Score)" could be heard in its entirety as two separate tracks titled "Stampede" and "Mufasa's Death". On June 24, 2014, The Legacy Collection: The Lion King was released, with "...To Die For (Score)" having been split once more into two separate tracks, "Stampede" and "Mufasa Dies".

The stage musical uses a much more vocal-heavy rendition of the score titled "The Stampede". It was released on November 13, 1997, as part of the original cast recording. Its official cue in the musical is "Stampede - Part 1".


"...To Die For (Score)" is first heard in The Lion King when Simba comes face-to-face with a herd of stampeding wildebeests. The track 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 underscore heard as Simba discovers and grieves over his father's body. The track plays through his tearful confrontation with Scar and ends on the flute notes heard as he flees the Pride Lands.

The stampede scene, which comprises the initial half of "...To Die For (Score)"

Several sections of underscore were cut from the track before its release. After the initial notes heard as Simba is transfixed by the stampede, the score jumps to his flight up a tree to escape the wildebeests. It skips over Zazu's frenzied attempts to aid Mufasa and skips again over Mufasa's pleas for Scar to help him up the side of a cliff. During the more mournful sections of score, Simba's conversation with Scar is severely shortened, and the chase music that instigates as the hyenas pursue Simba is cut entirely.


  • The score serves as background music in a storyboard for Zira's suicide.[3]


  1. Making Of The Lion King Part 3. Retrieved on June 13, 2016.
  2. Hans Zimmer - Scoring THE LION KING Interview. Retrieved on June 13, 2016.
  3. The Lion King 2 - Deleted Scene's. Retrieved on June 12, 2016.

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