Australian singles charts:
There is a Mountain entered the Kent charts on 2 September 1967 and peaked at #25.
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.
Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Is_a_Mountain
Donovan has explained that this song is about the process of change and is adapted from an old Zen proverb:
First there is a mountain
Then there is no mountain
Then there is
The song uses elements of nature but doesn’t have any real drug influences. It is done with a calypso beat.
Read more: www.songfacts.com/facts/donovan/there-is-a-mountain
This song is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s
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