The Bare Necessities

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This article is about the song. For the collegiate a cappella group by this same name, see The Brown Bear Necessities. For other uses, see Bare Necessities (disambiguation).
"The Bare Necessities"
Junglebook DQ1304.jpg
"The Bare Necessities" cover
Song by Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman from the album The Jungle Book
Released 1967 (1967)
Label Disneyland
Writer(s) Terry Gilkyson
The Jungle Book track listing
"Colonel Hathi's March"
"The Bare Necessities"
"I Wan'na Be Like You"

"The Bare Necessities" is a song, written by Terry Gilkyson, from the animated 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book, sung by Phil Harris as Baloo and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli. Originally, it was written for an earlier draft of the movie that was never produced. The Sherman Brothers, who wrote the other songs of the film, kept this as the only song used from the previous version. A reprise of the song was sung by Sebastian Cabot as Bagheera and Phil Harris as Baloo at the end of the film. Van Dyke Parks worked on the arrangement, which was his first paid gig after moving to California. The song was also sung by Louis Armstrong. In 1967, "The Bare Necessities" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. A hip-hop version of the song performed by Lou Rawls was used as the theme song for Jungle Cubs.[citation needed]

It has been suggested that the original trumpet solo was played by Cappy Lewis.[1]

In other media[edit]

  • In 1969, Alvin and the Chipmunks recorded this song for their album The Chipmunks Go to the Movies.
  • In 1988, the song was hummed by Siobhan E. McCafferty's character in the Freddy's Nightmares episode "Judy Miller, Come on Down".
  • In 1991, the song was covered by Harry Connick, Jr. for the Simply Mad About The Mouse an album and a TV Special.
  • In 1991 The Bare Necessities Megamix, produced by Nigel Wright under the name of The UK Mixmasters reached number 14 in the UK Singles Chart.[2]
  • In The Jungle Book 2, Baloo (John Goodman) is first seen singing "The Bare Necessities" while creating a "dummy" of Mowgli, using a coconut and a banana peel, to sing with him, only to sadly realize that Mowgli is no longer around. Mowgli (Haley Joel Osment) and Baloo sing the song together after Baloo takes him out the village. At the end of the movie, Mowgli, Shanti (Mae Whitman), and Baloo sing a reprise of the song.
  • In 2005, Julie Andrews chose the song for her album "Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs".
  • Tituss Burgess performed the song for the BBC radio special "BBC Radio 2 Celebrates The Music of Disney".
  • Bowling for Soup recorded this song for Disney's DisneyMania 3 Album.
  • In the 1994 live-action Disney film The Jungle Book, Dr. Julius Plumford exclaims "The bare necessities of life!" in the ballroom scene.
  • in 1998 Tony Bennett covered in his album The Playground which was released on September 25, 1998.
  • On the 5th episode of the 10th season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars, American footballer Chad Ochocinco and professional partner Cheryl Burke danced a quickstep to the song.
  • Just for Laughs: Gags sometimes uses an instrumental cover of this song during a prank.
  • Eliza Gilkyson, the daughter of the song's composer, Terry Gilkyson, performed the song on her live 2007 album, Your Town Tonight.
  • Brian Wilson covered it on his album In the Key of Disney, which was released on October 25, 2011.
  • From September 2011, the song has been used in adverts for supermarket chain Sainsbury's, promoting new slogan 'Live Well For Less'.
  • Los Lobos covered this song in the album Los Lobos Goes Disney, released in 2009.
  • The rap band That Handsome Devil covered this song and the entirety of The Jungle Book soundtrack on their free CD titled The Jungle Book
  • The song is featured in the Disney 2013 stage musical directed by Mary Zimmerman and performed by Kevin Carolan as Baloo.
  • On 13 June 2012, Hong Kong Disneyland opened Grizzly Gulch themed land, the gift stall in the land is called The Bear Necessities.[3]
  • In November 2013, The Overtones recorded this song as a mix with I Wanna Be Like You for their album Saturday Night at the Movies
  • In 2015, British children's sitcom Horrible Histories (2015 TV series) introduced a parody of this song related to Oliver Cromwell. It was performed by comedian Lawry Lewin, and was put into the sixth series.
  • Bill Murray and Neel Sethi perform the song as Baloo and Mowgli, respectively, in the 2016 live-action adaptation. A cover version by Dr. John is featured during the film's end credits.[4]


  1. ^ Santa Monica Academy of Music. Facebook. January 16, 2013.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Official UK Charts - UK Mixmasters
  3. ^ "Largest themed area in expansion plan, Grizzly Gulch, debuts at Hong Kong Disneyland on July 14, 2012 Unique multidirectional terrain-style coaster provides unexpected runaway adventure". Hong Kong Disneyland. 13 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Rebecca Keegan (April 15, 2016). "'Jungle Book' director Jon Favreau keeps the 19th century Kipling tone but updates the classic for modern times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016.