The Lion King

Be Prepared

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Standing in the Spotlight
"Everywhere you look, I'm standing in the spotlight!"
This article was previously featured on the front page.

"Do you see any other big, lovable chunk of warthog here?"
This article is about the film version of "Be Prepared".
You may be looking for the deleted reprise.

Be Prepared
General Information

Elton John


Tim Rice


Jim Cummings
Whoopi Goldberg
Jeremy Irons
Cheech Marin


May 31, 1994





Usage Information

The Legacy Collection: The Lion King
The Lion King (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
The Lion King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


The Lion King
The Stage Musical


Anonymous Audio File Icon Clip ArtOriginal Version 
Anonymous Audio File Icon Clip ArtStage Musical Version 

"Be Prepared" is a song from The Lion King. 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
Be prepared!

Banzai: (spoken)
Yeah! Be prepared!
Yeah-heh! We'll be prepared! Heh!
For what?

Scar: (spoken)
For the death of the king.

Banzai: (spoken)
Why? Is he sick?

Scar: (spoken)
No, fool. We're gonna kill him.
And Simba, too.

Shenzi: (spoken)
Great idea!
Who needs a king?

Banzai and Shenzi:
No king! No king!
La, la, la, la, la, la!

Scar: (spoken)
There will be a king!

Banzai: (spoken)
Hey, but you said-

Scar: (spoken)
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!

Hyenas: (spoken)
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
Meticulous planning
(We'll have food!)
Tenacity spanning
(Lots of food!)
Decades of denial
(We repeat!)
Is simply why I'll
(Endless meat!)
Be king undisputed
Respected, saluted
And seen for the wonder I am!
Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared
Be prepared!

Yes, our teeth and ambitions are bared
Be prepared!



"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.[5]
  • 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.[6]

In Development

  • 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.[7]
  • 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.[7]
  • Another reprise was written in which Scar tries to seduce Nala into being his queen. When she rejects him, he introduces the pride to his executive staff, the hyenas.[8]



  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mug3
  8. [7]

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