10 thoughts on “Solomon Linda, Songwriter Who Penned ‘The Lion,’ Finally Gets His Just Desserts – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. As a musician myself, I’m never amazed at the depths of depravity of the music business. This story is such a case in point. I’m rarely failed to be reminded how happy I am that I don’t have to rely on it to feed my family…

  2. Just found your blog through The Head Heeb and find it most interesting and well-written.

    However, I can’t help but point out that the phrase is ‘just deserts,’ as in ‘what one justly deserves,’ not ‘just desserts,’ as in ‘a particularly righteous selection of puddings.’

  3. How sad that the musical industry exploits artists in such a manner.

    No wonder the record industry is angry that musicians are taking matters into their own hands by skipping the industry altogether, via such companies as cdbaby and others…

  4. Thank you for this article with the sound clippings. I’ve always found this song so haunting and knew there was a story behind it. How wonderful of Rian Malan to bring a happier ending to the story.

  5. Im sure no one is surprised. Look at the history of black music in this country. An endless number of blues players
    most of whom had the same fate; blind, homeless, sick
    and broke. Take rock bands for example like Led Zeppelin.
    Jimmy Page even took writing credit for songs he stole.
    Not many of the blues writers got any credit. Willie
    Dixon’s family sued and received royalties but that was
    a rare case. Greed is an evil phenomenon.

  6. Richard,
    Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this informative article. I stumbled across it whilst looking up the lyrics again for my young son who loves the song, and being South African then surprised me with the history I was unaware of.

      1. There is greed in every industry, but the greed shown here is of the most unscrupulous kind. It shows that record companies cannot be trusted to do the right thing in any given situation. And any artist who can thrive without them is a most fortunate and more prosperous individual.

  7. Thank you for this wonderful page about a wonderful song. I especiallyu liked the Soweto Gospel Choir version. The song always seemed like not an ordinary American pop tune and indeed it is not.
    However $10-20 million figure for royalties deserved seems questionable. Songwriter royalties were 2 cents per record in 1960, $20,000 for a million seller. Even the gross would only be $1 million at $1 per single. I see figures like $20k to $100k for licensing a song for a movie, for the whole recording, the songwriter would get less.

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