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The Bare Necessities

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"The Bare Necessities"
Song by Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman
from the album The Jungle Book
B-side"Trust in Me" (Sterling Holloway)
Released1967 (1967)
Songwriter(s)Terry Gilkyson

"The Bare Necessities" is a jazz song, written by Terry Gilkyson,[1] from Disney's 1967 animated feature film The Jungle Book, sung by Phil Harris as Baloo and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli.[2]


Originally, it was written for an earlier draft of the film that was never produced.[3] 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.[4] The song was also sung by Louis Armstrong. In 1967, "The Bare Necessities" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to "Talk to the Animals" from Doctor Dolittle.[5] A hip-hop version of the song performed by Lou Rawls was used as the theme song for Jungle Cubs.[6]

In other media[edit]

  • Steve Tyrell covered the song on his February 28, 2006 album The Disney Standards.
  • Brian Wilson covered it on his album In the Key of Disney, which was released on October 25, 2011.
  • The Overtones covered the song on their album Saturday Night at the Movies, which was released on November 1, 2013.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] Gold 400,000
United States (RIAA)[8] Gold 500,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Halliwell, L. (1981). Halliwell's Film Guide. Granada. p. 531. ISBN 978-0-246-11533-1. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Sackett, S.; Rovins, M. (1995). Hollywood Sings!: An Inside Look at Sixty Years of Academy Award-nominated Songs. Billboard Books. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-8230-7623-9. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Hischak, T.S. (2018). 100 Greatest American and British Animated Films. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-5381-0569-6. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  4. ^ McKeen, W. (2017). Everybody Had an Ocean: Music and Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles. Chicago Review Press. p. 254. ISBN 978-1-61373-494-0. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  5. ^ Johnson, J.; Ehrbar, G.; Ghez, D.; Johnson, G. (2014). Inside the Whimsy Works: My Life with Walt Disney Productions. University Press of Mississippi. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-61703-932-4. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  6. ^ Animation Magazine. Animation Magazine. 1997. Retrieved August 2, 2018. That's meant doing "interesting casting" for the main titles and series theme songs: Lou Rawls singing Jungle Cubs' "The Bare Necessities"; rocker Eddie Money singing the Quack Pack main title; Jefferson Starship lead singer Mickey Thomas ...
  7. ^ "British single certifications – Phil Harris – The Bare Necessities". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  8. ^ "American single certifications – Phil Harris – The Bare Necessities". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 29, 2022.