"There Is A Mountain" as written by and Donovan Leitch....
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


Lyrics submitted by E Benson

"There Is a Mountain" as written by Donovan Leitch

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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There Is A Mountain song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe story j.justice is on about is the koan (Zen riddle) of "Gutei's Finger" - ibiblio.org/zen/gateless-gate/…. For more about koans see liverpool-zen.org.uk/….

    Donovan's song is about another Zen image, though - the idea that before enlightenment, mountains and rivers are just mountains and rivers. When you experience kensho, have an enlightenment experience, there are no mountains and rivers any more, or so they say (I wouldn't know!). Finally when you are fully enlightened, mountains and rivers are just mountains and rivers again and you see the world clearly, just as it is - even more clearly than ever before.
    bugoffon February 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAs far as the mountain part is concerned, when you're on a journey, you see a mountain from the distance.

    "First there is a mountain."

    As you climb the mountain, you have no idea that you are on the mountain.

    "Then there is no mountain."

    When you get to the top, you again realize what the mountain is.

    "Then there is."
    CharlosCon July 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst there is a mountain: I know everything!
    Then there is no mountain: Holy crap, I don't know anything.
    Then there is: Of course I don't know anything. That means the whole world is open to me, doesn't it?

    The caterpillar turning to a butterfly is a metaphor for enlightenment. This is a deeply spiritual song disguised as a little ditty.
    Aquaisceson January 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about when you think you have just got yourself sorted out then along comes another problem.
    still stupidon September 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always just though this song was about an acid trip with the mountain appearing,dissapearing and reappearing
    jtucker7on February 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about zen. There is a flower, there isn't a flower... crap, this is harder than I thought. Does anyone here know the story of the Tibetan monestary... The master asked his students what the meaning of life (or enlightenment, or something) was. Nobody answered. He went down the row, and no one had anything. One kid put up his hand a little as he was thinking, raising a finger. "Correct," said the master. All the other kids were pissed -- saying he just got lucky, raising one finger (as though pointing up, or saying "I am.") The next time they congregated, the master asked the same question, and each person raised their finger.
    "correct."
    The next time, the master asked the same question, and as soon as the boy in front of him raised his finger HE SLICED IT OFF.
    "Now," he repeated the question. The boy raised his bloodied fist.
    "Correct."
    ----
    Does that help? It is, and it isn't, and... it's... oh come on, now, we all know donovan loves this jazz.
    j.justiceon February 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell i personally cant really make any sense out of this song, whether it DOES mean anything or not but i dont think there's any question that when they made this song they were completely whacked out on every kind of hallucinagen available
    fletcha939on August 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just think about nature when I hear this song. The earth is constantly changing, our lives are constantly changing and it's amazing!
    Rhodaon November 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Zen Buddhism. NOT about sex. True psychedelic genius!
    Johnny0225on February 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBugoff has a good start. From a consciousness perspective my experience is: FIRST THERE IS A MOUNTAIN-first there is the usual way of looking at the world, subject/object; THEN THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN-at this level, witness of one's life as subject/object becomes predominant, a lack of body awareness can occur, yet consciousness is present; THEN THERE IS-the totality of the experience becomes present, grace predominates, the groove is on.
    ubethchaon June 06, 2009   Link

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