Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rafiki: He Lives In You

Oh, Rafiki. A friend to all.

No, literally. It means "friend."

Rafiki is... an interesting character, but I think he (or in Broadway's case, she) brings a lot to The Lion King.

Some think he's crazy, some think he's wise. But I say...
Sorry, but I just had to use that image.

For those of you who haven't seen TLK, or haven't seen it in a very long time, Rafiki is the baboon who presents Simba (and later, his daughter, Kiara) in front of all the Pride lands in the opening sequence, "Circle of Life." He comes across as rather crazy. I mean, who else chants,

"Asante sana, squash banana! Wewe nugu mimi apana!"

That's means you're a baboon. And he's not. Call him crazy, call him confused, call him... wise?

Again, I am at school so I cannot guarantee these are the right videos.

There's a lot to learn from this crazy monkey and Mufasa as well. What is that one famous line?

"Remember who you are."

Simba was running from his past quite a bit, but in the midst of trying to forget everything that had happened, he forgot who he really was. In these few scenes, you can really see how much his father's death has taken a toll on his life.

The song "Endless Night" by Jason Raize really describes how he was feeling when he said:

"You said you'd always be there for me! But you're not. And it's because of me. It's my fault."

Simba has a hard time accepting the past. Yeah, you can't change it, but you can keep it from repeating. One of my favorite parts is when Rafiki says "I know who you are! You're Mufasa's boy!" and this is the conversation that follows:

SIMBA: "You knew my father?"
RAFIKI: "Correction: I know your father."
SIMBA: "Sorry to tell you but, he died. A long time ago."
RAFIKI: "Nope! Wrong again! He's alive!" (He said something else after this and I don't remember what it was.)
Then, he leads Simba through the jungle. Mufasa ain't there; just a pond.
SIMBA: "That's not my father. That's just my reflection."
RAFIKI: "No, look harder. You see? He lives in you."

Now, "He Lives In You" was not actually played in the movie, but it was on the "Rhythm of the Pride Lands" and even made it into being the "Circle of Life" equivalent as the opening sequence for Simba's Pride

This song means a lot to me, personally. Especially that lyric, "In your reflection, he lives in you." It relates to me very well. Only, in my case, it's more like, "She lives in you."

People have always told me that I looked like my grandmother on my dad's side. After she died, people were all like, "You look just like her" and "You're like a reminder of her" and such. My dad even used this song as an example. 

Now, that didn't really have anything to do with my post. I just wanted to share that with you.

Anyways. Just listen to those lyrics.

"Hela, hey mamela. Hela, hey mamela. Hela, hey mamela.
He lives in you!
He lives in me!
He watches over everything we see!
Into the water, into the truth...
In YOUR reflection,
He lives in you."

Mufasa isn't dead. He is survived by Simba. When I first took the time to ruminate about those lyrics, I thought of the obituaries I occasionally read in the newspaper. "She is survived by her husband and three kids." When someone dies, they don't just... die. They live on in our hearts, in our souls, in our minds. They don't just leave. It's impossible.

That reminds me of Evanescence's lyric from "My Immortal" (the singing voice of adult Simba in the movie covered this song, by coincidence. Look up Joseph Williams):

"If you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave 'cause your presence still lingers here and it won't leave me alone. These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real, there's just too much that time cannot erase... You still have all of me."

That also reminds me of the lyrics from "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan:

"Come stop your crying. It'll be alright. Just take my hand, hold it tight. I will protect you from all around you. I will be here, don't you cry... You'll be in my heart. Yes, you'll be in my heart. From this day on, now and forevermore... I may not be with you, but you've got to hold on... You'll be here in my heart always. Always. I'll be with you. I'll be there for you always, always and always. Just look over your shoulder... I'll be there always."

Another famous line of his is "The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it." He uses the example of hitting a grown, moody lion in the head (at least I found Simba kinda moody in this scene...) to show that the past can hurt. But hey, it's in the past! Sometimes the past's effects are still present in the now. And even though you can't change what happened, you can choose how you are going to react and how you are going to change things.

So, there are a lot of things to learn from this baboon. And I almost forgot to embed this one...

Everybody, sing it with me! "UPENDI!!!! Down in upendi, way down in upendi, down in upendi..."

Now, here are his absolute best lines!

Best of Rafiki (in the first TLK)
"Asante sana! Squash banana..."
"Can't cut it out! It'll grow right back!"
"I'm not the one who's confused. You don't even know who you are!"
"He lives in you."
"Change is good."
"It doesn't matter, it's in the past!"
"Ah yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can run from it, or... learn from it."

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