Lyrics Depot is your source of lyrics to There Is A Mountain by Donovan. Please check back for more Donovan lyrics.

There Is A Mountain Lyrics

Artist: Donovan


The lock upon my garden gate's a snail, that's what it is.
The lock upon my garden gate's a snail, that's what it is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain.
Oh Wanita, oh Wanita, oh Wanita, I call your name.
Oh, the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside.
The lock upon my garden gate's a snail, that's what it is.
The lock upon my garden gate's a snail, that's what it is.
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.
Ah, my-my.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain


by s-money on 6/9/2008 10:43pm
fuck this song
by Ringo-Dingo on 6/18/2008 8:16pm
Now,That's not a very nice comment, It a very cool little nonsenseical ditty
by Debbie on 6/19/2008 7:02pm
Like this song.. but love "I love my shirt"!!
by erin on 6/19/2008 9:53pm
this song has been stuck in my head for weeks.
by Donovan on 6/23/2008 10:24pm
Gayest, worstest, most horriblest song ever.
by Donovanlicksballs on 6/25/2008 8:44pm
this is song is the dumbest crap i have ever heard in my life, sounds like it was written by someone with no skill/brains and deserves nothing less than execution for this abomination.
im glad i found somewhere i can say my 2 cents about how stupid this song really is
by gus on 6/26/2008 5:36am
I like this song when I'm on...certain synthetics. Very enjoyable.
by ashleyman on 6/28/2008 2:21pm
so... there's a butterfly WITHIN the catapillar???
by Sharon on 7/3/2008 11:47am
Ah, this is a koan, a little paradox.
by Jennifer on 7/6/2008 12:04am
Donovan would never say "worstest, most horriblest". Obviously his use of English is MUCH more sophisticated than that! "There is A Mountain" is a beautiful song.
by Jonny V on 7/6/2008 6:04pm
The best version of this song is the Dub Reggae version performed by The Long Beach Dub All Stars with The Wailing Souls
by katrina on 7/9/2008 12:34am
I don't really see how you could hate this song. There isn't anything offensive about it.
I can see disliking it though...
But Personally I love this song
by zoe on 7/10/2008 10:56pm
get high, the song's great
by me on 7/12/2008 12:30am
how high was he?

by LOVE MY PeEpS on 7/15/2008 8:45pm
by First there is a bad song on 7/16/2008 3:43am
That stupid song is a reminder that the old songs really aren't always the best
by UpWithDrugs on 7/16/2008 6:05pm
It isn't supposed to be anything profound... It's a GREAT drug song... Listen to it when you're totally fucked up, and it will make a lot more sense... Anyone who hates it just isn't doing enough good drugs...
by melchizedek jenkinz on 7/17/2008 9:47am
...this song is stuck in my head too. eye had to do some research to find out what it really is. eye saw it / rather heard it on some car commercial. eye don't think that eye like or dislike it. itz super catchy. never even heard of Don O Van b4. and eye didn't know that it was anything but a commercial song. hmmm.
by poet on 7/19/2008 3:41pm
Think of it as a living landscape.
That's exactly how the mountains in the Rockies strike you if you let them into your heart of hearts.
by Normaleenot on 7/20/2008 10:57am
Its Chan, classic Buddhism double negation and use of paradox. 'All speeches and teachings are just like curing illness. Because there are different kinds of illness, we use different medicines. Therefore sometimes we say, "There is Buddha", and sometimes we say "There is no Buddha"... Prescriptions are different. We should never have any restriction and fixation.' (Baizhang Huaihai)
by Confused on 7/21/2008 2:00am
So is there a mountain or isn't there?
by Dazed on 7/30/2008 7:24pm
It's "Juanita" not "Wanita" (duh)
by This song on 7/31/2008 6:21pm
This song blows goats
by Stillliving on 8/1/2008 6:48pm
You should have been alive back then to argue with the rest of us about Donovan's stuff. Would have loved to have you! So many of my friends didn't make it this far.
by djembo on 8/2/2008 1:21pm
Great song! Listen to the Allman Brothers' "Mountain Jam," based on this number, for a great lesson on how to take a simple melodic figure and turn it into the theme for an improvisation of symphonic proportions.

Also, you don't have to be fucked up on drugs to be entranced by sitting on a mountainside and watching the clouds come back and forth between you and the mountains you're facing. (But, depending on the drug of choice, it can add to the experience!)
by Mrs. literature teacher on 8/2/2008 7:12pm
This song is a literary allusion to the Bible. Christ was speaking to his apostles when explaining that if they but had the faith of a mustard seed, they could say to the mountain, "Move over there" and it would. Christ was talking about the strength of the mustard plant, though, and not the size of the seed. Strong faith moves mountains.
It's been stuck in my head all day too. But now at least, maybe you'll enjoy the song more. Even the impossible becomes possible with enough faith.
by cassue on 8/2/2008 9:36pm
this song makes me laugh :]
by Juan Wan on 8/7/2008 10:25am
Wanita, Juanita. Who is she?
by Zen Master on 8/21/2008 4:06pm
>So is there a mountain or isn't there?<

by Harp on 8/22/2008 2:35pm
well, first off, these lyrics are all wrong.

It goes, "Look upon my garden, it's a snail. That's what it is." and it's spelled Juanita.

I think it's about the buddhist or hindu philosophies that "everything changes." He's speaking about the impermanence of everything - from something as small as a caterpillar to as big as a mountain. That, no matter the size of something in this universe, it is all subject to the will of time.
by ShopRite Clerk on 8/22/2008 5:23pm
This stupid song plays every day at the grocery store I work in, and there is no song that I detest more. It is the most ridiculous song with the worst melody, and the most idiotic lyrics I have ever heard. Multiply that by the fact that I have had to listen to it almost every day for the past eight years and you could see how I've built up a nasty hatred for this song!
by Dr. Name on 9/19/2008 8:05pm
Oh come on, gotta love this song. Mainly because it makes no sense
by Blissentia on 10/15/2008 9:53pm
I think that this refers to a Zen parable that before one begins Zen practice, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers, as on is progressing through Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers , then, when one has mastered the practice, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. This parallels the progression from pre-rational to rational to transrational. It is important, however, to distinguish between pre-rational and trans-rational. Just because they are non-rational does not mean they are equivalent.
by okay_08 on 10/24/2008 5:23am
Yet it's a lot better than "American Pie".
by RCA on 10/26/2008 3:29am
Some people are not smart, they don't get it. Its about Zen Buddhism.
First, in our ordinary natural way of thinking, we look at a mountain and we see it as a mountain. Then, as we learn about Buddhist concepts, we realize that the "mountain" is a signifier created by people, but in reality, philosophically, the Universe is one, it is not made up of separate things, but OUR PERCEPTION makes it appear that way. Then, once we have absorbed these startling ideas, we can, paradoxically, go back to the normal way of viewing things, and see that "there is a mountain" there. While realizing that you can look at it the other way.
Donovan was heavily into Eastern religions. Let those who mock this song try to create a hit song yourself. You're not smart enough.
by Hungry on 10/30/2008 10:21am
I don't get why anybody would mock this song, first off, the song isn't hurting anyone. It's sweet. It's fun to listen to while high as a kite, and also while not. And whether you dig the Zen stuff or not it's a neat song. Laugh at it's aparent silliness, or marvel at it's inherent wisdom, but don't hate it, there are many, many songs out there much more deserving of your hate. eg. anything by Ashley Simpson. Oh, and I'm not sure what that Harp guy is talking about, Donovan clearly says "the lock..."
by ret3 on 11/7/2008 1:25pm
It's not a bad song; definitely an earworm, though. The part that has always bothered me as a student of geology is that, geologically speaking, first there is no mountain, then (via uplift or some sort, or differential erosion in some cases) there is a mountain, then there's not (when the mountain is fully eroded away). I get the philosophical point, but this is always what comes to mind first.
by Larry St David on 11/25/2008 5:52pm
Figures, all of the stupid comments are from this year. Kids these days don;t know what good music is. MOst of today's music is just the good music that has been sampled and over-produced.
by 15 year old on 12/20/2008 2:56pm
hey i love this music and im a kid.

to the shoprite clerk, i guess thats why you work at shoprite eh?
hey think of it this way... at least you don't work at Walmart! haha

by Desertman on 1/2/2009 5:05pm
Life, like everything, is cyclical. We have good times we have bad. There is no black without white, no sound without silence. First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain.... The seemingly ugly caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
by Dale on 1/15/2009 8:59pm
This song is GREAT!

I'll admit that it does seems simplistic, but just look at what the Allman Brothers Band did with it: Mountain Jam on both Eat a Peach and At the Fillmore.

Plus, if you absolutely hate it, why are you spending time reading the lyrics and posting comments?
by J. N. Phillips on 2/6/2009 7:00am
I always liked this song. And when I began to meditate and came to understand the lyrics, I liked it even more.A few years ago I took a photo that reminded me of this song. If you want to see it, check out photo #10 on my web
The negative comments on the song here prompted me to look at why I liked some songs and disliked others.
by Mike on 2/10/2009 1:42pm
I don't understand why folks are bashing on this song. If you had any idear what was really going on here, in this song, in this world, you might not think so negatively about this. Another great song by Donovan. I wish I could have grown up in that generation!

A little tip: take a toke or two, let it settle in, listen to this song and you'll hear how good this song really is. Especially you Storeclerk person.
by B. Hold on 3/7/2009 5:13pm
I first heard Dandy Livingstone's reggae version of this song and did not realize it was a cover. My friend told me it was a Donovan song so I looked it up today. I think I like the reggae version better, but I don't understand why people hate on this song. Because the lyrics are stupid? Whatever.
by McKenzie on 4/11/2009 11:16pm
this is a weird song
by College girls on 5/18/2009 8:52am
We love this song cos it really annoys our lecturer when it comes on the radio :) hehe x
by sam n scott on 5/21/2009 4:30am
i lyk the bit... first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain , then there is!!

by Use your mind on 6/11/2009 9:52am
Find the middle way people, first it exists then it doesn't, and only because it doesn't can it again... have fun peeps.
by Andrew Lorimer on 6/23/2009 3:50pm
I find this a powerful song.

Imagine you're on a journey: you come to a mountain ("First there is a mountain"); you climb it, naturally, ("then there is no mountain" [for you to climb]); then as you travel on, there is another mountain, ("then there is"). One has a problem, one solves a problem, one has a problem.

Also; a mountain appears to one, ("First there is a mountain") one's attention turns to other matters ("then there is no mountain"), then, again the mountain appears, (to one's attention, ["then there is"]).

Donovan: clever man, clever song.
by Twitchard on 7/6/2009 3:38am
The lyrics from this song are actually taken from an old spiritual.

It was a code song. The meaning was that if you ended the song and there was a mountain, that meant the way is safe. If there was no mountain, the passage was being watched.
by The first mountain on 7/6/2009 3:45am
It's actually supposed to be like Brigadoon.
by wtf on 7/9/2009 9:09am
okayy no offense or anything but this song makes absolutly no sense. i personaly think this song is stupid. ohh and they need to make up there mimd is there a mountain or not? (:
by Angelica on 7/12/2009 1:10pm
Whenever this song comes on my 2 year old daughter sings along...we love it!
by amy on 7/15/2009 12:06pm
Kenny Loggins has cut a version with his young daughter. Its being played on Disney.
by fly on the wall on 8/10/2009 1:33pm
To those that don't like this song, all I can say is that not all music is Death Metal and rap.
by Ispes on 8/21/2009 11:43am
Maybe he was high during writing this song. Must like; absolutely weirdest lyrics ever: This is Buddha song or isn't it, it is, isn't it.
by Mandy on 10/1/2009 1:21pm
This song actually doesn't make much sense unless you have training in Eastern philosophical thought. I've discussed the complexity of this song several times in many Eastern Philosophy courses at a few universities. Especially the lines "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is." I think it's brilliant!
by Spaceman on 10/1/2009 4:17pm
Donovan remains one of my greatest musical heroes. As a kid hearing this tune on the radio in the early 1970ís, it opened my mind to the poetics of life and later to transcendental meditation and mysticism. Itís infectious island groove, clever word-play, and philosophical introspection exhibits some of the best aspects of Donovanís song writing. He is a most sincere artist filling the world with beautiful music that radiates from his heart. Donovanís music will live forever, because it is an expression of pure love. Thanks, Don!
by Taruno on 10/9/2009 11:50pm
Good for RCA (10-26-2008, 3:29am)!!!
At least one understood what is the subject of this lyrics. Good old Donovan...
Meditate a little more and you will get it, too.
by Mike on 10/20/2009 2:13am
Before I was enlightened mountains were only mountains and trees were only trees.

At the moment of enlightenment, mountains were no longer mountains and trees were no longer trees.

Now that I have been enlightened, mounts again are mountains and trees again are trees.
by Grant on 10/22/2009 10:47am
This wasn't my best song either, but I watched the Allman Bros Band do this song (instrumental) last nite in Tampa (Ruth Eckerd Hall). they nailed it and turned it into a 15 min jam that was the song of the night. whoa!!
by DRB on 10/24/2009 9:35am
I have always loved this song (yes I am an old hippie)including the Allman Bros version. They called in "Mountain Jam" on "Eat a Peach" (1972). Glad to hear thry are still doing it. P.S. Ruth Eckerd Hall is in Clearwater; not Tampa.
by Jerry on 11/23/2009 4:26am
Obviously a Zen reference. To those who don't understand it - thank goodness you all live in the USA and not anywhere else on this planet. Stay where you are, please.
by Naomi on 2/25/2010 1:05am
This is a song about geology
by Wendy Miller on 3/3/2010 7:18pm
Who's Wanita? Does she have a green card?
by Mary on 4/9/2010 5:17pm
First there is ignorance, and then no logic, then there is...
the fact that so many people have to showcase their glaring dullness,lack of sophistication,and utter laziness
just depresses me. Don't pick on Donovan --at least he did something worthwhile with his time and life
by patleigh on 5/4/2010 2:14pm
An artist I know quoted the song in a ceramic piece, and I couldn't remember all of it, so I googled "first there is a ** " and there it was. Thank you and thank Google. And Donovan, except now it's lodged in my brain.
by mexicali on 5/27/2010 5:06pm
by Emilyo on 6/18/2010 9:37pm
...hey you guys. :P
by renee on 9/4/2010 11:30am
the allman brothers band took this song & made a little ditty called mountain jam,,,,
by embee on 9/12/2010 7:23am
you had to be there if you werent stick to westlife
by Donovan on 9/14/2010 10:50am
It is clearly describing the thrills of acid
by A-man's Mom on 10/5/2010 9:48pm
Suddenly love this song. My son is learning to read, but something is going on with his vision, or maybe he is dyslexic, but the letters move around on the page for him. One time, the letter U kept showing up and disappearing, and he was getting frustrated. This song popped into my mind, I sang it, then changed the words to "First there is a letter U, then there is no letter U, then there is." And it made him laugh and feel better.
by Deneshelle on 11/3/2010 2:01pm
This song be gay and the singer be gay and it makes everythin be gay caus everythin bout it be gay.FAGSTER
by Twilight on 11/28/2010 9:49pm
First I loved this song, then I didn't love this song, then I did.
Perhaps I should be a songwriter.
by Erika on 12/1/2010 3:30pm
DONOVAN RULES. Listen to more music. Read a book. Culture yourselves goddamnit!
by Ms. Right on 1/9/2011 6:48pm
I love this song. It's about Zen Buddhism. He says so. And it's wonderfully simplistic and deep at the same time, which is why it's awesome.
by BPendragon on 1/16/2011 7:53am
This song is actually pretty cool, if you look at it from a slightly drug-altered realm of perception. However, there is absolutely no way that I can or will accept the opinion that "it is the worst song ever written". That accolade goes to "Horse with No Name" hands-down!!!
by RobbyD on 2/15/2011 7:27am
i heard this crap song while on hold on the phone. I had to see who wrote this piece of crap.
by jeffzekas on 3/31/2011 1:42pm
The song is a Zen koan... so if you don't understand, you need to study Zen, then you WILL understand. All the world is Maya- illusion- which is why what you SEE is not what is really there. THAT is the meaning of the song... dumb? Only if YOU are "dumb" to the reality of existence!
by anonymous on 5/3/2011 3:14pm
I had to look up these lyrics to make sure I hadn't imagined the whole thing. Juanita was hot.
by O2 Savant on 5/4/2011 11:08pm
Exactly Naomi,
Earth science and history.Beautiful!
by MsYolande on 5/26/2011 8:36am
When a caterpillar moves along a surface the centre of its body is forced upwards, creating the "mountain" then as it moves forward, the "mountain" flattens, thus there is no mountain... and then there is and then there isn't etc. Together with the seam of Zen Buddhist philosophy running through it, this song has maximum meaning using few words - beautiful.
by Homie on 5/26/2011 10:33pm
@ MsYolande, Very well put. :)
by The real thing on 2/12/2012 12:32pm
by Jim bob on 3/4/2012 7:46pm
Simple song for smart people. Zen dittie and you don't have to get it, but complain too much and maybe you should be at the cash register 20 years from now. Or not.
by See on 3/20/2012 3:15am
Allman Brothers: Mountain Jam ,
Grateful Dead Avalon Ballroom 10-12-68 Dark Star- Jam
by james cooley on 4/11/2012 2:22pm
As compared to your lyrics which I'll never hear?
by Anton LeRoux-Marx on 5/5/2012 11:18am
The inch-worm. Legs in the front and legs at the back. It draws the back legs to the front and then the body forms a hump 'there is a mountain', then it extends the front section and flattens out 'there is no mountain', etc. Then metamorphosis, catepillar sheds it's skin', to reveal the butterfly within. The snail on the gate looks like a lock. Simply an english country garden.
by Me on 6/14/2012 12:06pm
You could also see it as metaphor for life...first there's the mountain (obstacle), you overcome it then suddenly there is no mountain. Before you know it there's another mountain. Life is always this way.
by Another Old Hippie on 7/8/2012 2:41pm
All the crappy and hostile statements here show those of us who have been around awhile just what's happened to youth since we were young. The dark forces won, didn't they?
by Abraxascarab on 8/28/2012 11:43pm
First there are some dark forces then there are no dark forces then there is. First there is a snow cap peak then there is no snow cap peak then there is. First there is a snow flake then there is no snow flake then there is. First there is a crystal then there is no crystal then there is. First there is an atom then there is no atom then there is. First there is an electron then there is no electron then there is. First there is a ShopRite clerk then there is no ShopRite clerk then there is. First there is a seed then there is no seed then there is. First there a tree then there is no tree then there is. First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is. It's all beautiful. Even the ShopRite clerk. :)
by Southern Rocker on 9/17/2012 5:53pm
This song is important if only for the fact that it inspired the Allman Brothers to play Mountain Jam, one of the best jams of all time.
by bunkster on 10/31/2012 3:27am
there's a mountain...
then there'no mountain...
screw this noise
I want to know who shot the deputy!
by NCS927 on 11/22/2012 3:24pm
The song brings back memories!!!GOOD ONES!!! LOL..
by torotx on 2/13/2013 10:15pm
Song in my mind is like traveling over a mountain, through a valley and then to the mountains again. its a little bit of the sublime ridiculous but with a catchy, fun too. I liked this song when I first heard it back in 69.
by The Oblivian on 3/18/2013 11:34am
If u cant appreciate this song than why are u commenting on the lyrics.i bet u are one of those justin beaver fans.donovan was one of the greatest artist of his time.dont criticise if u dont understand just proves how immature you are.
by steve on 8/9/2013 6:48pm
can drive the demons away x
by Lachlan on 9/12/2013 1:30am
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.
by Lachlan on 9/12/2013 1:32am
Donovan said this about this song "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." ---- great musician.... but an idiot also! :P
by Mondiot on 11/11/2013 1:39am
J'adore cette chanson, Donovan est formidable !!
by seesaw on 4/30/2014 3:10am
What in the world are you people talking about. He clearly says first there is no mountain then there is a mountain no there is
by blank on 5/6/2014 11:17pm
First there is no mountain
Then there is a mountain
No is there
by GeePee on 5/7/2014 7:40pm
Peace, everyone.
by Nicky on 5/15/2014 1:11pm
Need to use this song as phone sound for remembering that everything could be not so obvious as it seems
by McPherson on 2/16/2023 8:29am
First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is...many many eons
by Someone on 3/19/2024 7:22pm
Keeping this board alive
woop woop!

Donovan Lyrics

More Donovan Music Lyrics:
Donovan - Colours Lyrics
Donovan - Goldwatch Blues Lyrics
Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man Lyrics
Donovan - Jennifer Juniper Lyrics
Donovan - Lalena Lyrics
Donovan - Mellow Yellow Lyrics
Donovan - The Lullaby Of Spring Lyrics