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As reported previously, Elton and Tim Rice have come up with a new song for the new Lion King movie.

Never Too Late is sung by the former, not by any character. It’s heard at the end, when credits appear, and is also available on the soundtrack.

The lyrics say, “It’s never too late to get back on track/To get at least some, if not all of it back.” Later on in the song, John sings, “I used to say I don’t have time, I’m sleepin’ tonight/A day doin’ nothin’ is doin’ it right.”

MTV News spoke with Rice about this. . . .

MTV News: What’s the meaning behind “Never Too Late” and how did the song come about?

Rice: We wanted to do a new song — the film’s producers and everybody else — with the point of it being to illustrate Simba’s dilemma; he believed that he had really screwed up his life because he thought that he killed his father. He also thought that he helped wreck his pride and that he was also leading a fairly lazy life. He thought that the end was near. It then dawned on him that it wasn’t, in fact, all over and that it is never too late to recover from rock bottom. It’s a great message that, in life, is almost always true.

MTV News: What’s the difference between writing music for the animated Lion King film versus this new one?

Rice: Whether you’re writing for animated characters or computer-generated ones, I try to make it believable for the characters and the situations that exist in the song. In the case of the movie, there aren’t any new songs sung by the new characters in the film.

MTV News: Over time, have any of the returning songs from the original took on new meaning for you? If so, were they changed to fit with the times?

Rice: Nope. They’re just great songs in my humble opinion. I like them all a lot. I think “Hakuna Matata” has been underused. Still, it became really popular with kids of all ages. I would have liked to see a new verse in the new movie but, alas, that was not to be. There are two verses that you can dig up on various The Lion King compilation albums. I think Elton did a brilliant job on all of the tunes in the original film and “Never Too Late,” which I love.

MTV News: Thinking of all of the Lion King songs that you’ve worked on, what’s been your favorite? Why?

Rice: It varies, depending on the mood that I’m in, really. Sometimes, I think I like “Circle Of Life.” Sometimes it’s “Be Prepared,” which is actually being cut back a bit in the new film, which is a pity. I mean, the character of Scar is still there, but I think that it’s very important that when you have unpleasant characters that they get musical moments that are just as strong as those for the heroes. My favourite depends on which one I haven’t heard in a long time. Right now, though, it’s “Never Too Late.”