There Is a Mountain

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"There Is a Mountain"
Single by Donovan
B-side "Sand and Foam"
Released Aug 1967 (USA)
October 1967 (UK)
Format 7" single
Recorded July 1967, CBS Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic pop
Label Epic 5-10212 (USA)
Pye 7N17403 (UK)
Writer(s) Donovan Leitch
Producer(s) Mickie Most
Donovan (UK) chronology
"Mellow Yellow"
"There Is a Mountain"
"Jennifer Juniper"
Donovan (USA) singles chronology
"Epistle to Dippy"
"There Is a Mountain"
"Wear Your Love Like Heaven"

"There Is a Mountain" is a song and single by British singer/songwriter Donovan,[1] released in 1967. It charted in the USA (Billboard: No.11) and UK (No.8).

Featured musicians are Donovan (vocals and acoustic guitar), Tony Carr on percussion, Harold McNair on flute and arrangement and Danny Thompson on bass.

Chart positions: # 11 (USA Billboard), # 9 (USA Cashbox), # 11 (USA Record World), # 8 (UK)

The Allman Brothers Band's "Mountain Jam" (from Eat a Peach, 1972) is a long, improvised jam song based on this song. The Grateful Dead also sometimes incorporated it.

The lyrics refer to a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his Essays in Zen Buddhism, one of the first books to popularize Buddhism in Europe and the US. Qingyuan writes

Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

Kenny Loggins covered the tune in 2009 with his youngest daughter Hana on his album All Join In.

Dandy Livingstone covered the song in 1967.

The Bobs covered the song in 1994 for their album The Bobs Cover the Songs of….

Steve Earle Covered the song on many of the dates on his 2015 "Terraplane" World Tour. Most notably at HSBF in San Francisco and in Donovan's home city of Glasgow on Oct 27th 2015.


  1. ^ Show 48 - The British are Coming! The British are Coming!: With an emphasis on Donovan, the Bee Gees and the Who. [Part 5] : UNT Digital Library
  2. ^ Buddhism & Science: A Guide for the Perplexed Donald S. Lopez, P. 227

External links[edit]