Skip to comments.Donovan 1967,The Byrds'70 1st there is a Mountain/ I'm going to catch that horse!
Posted on 02/11/2013 7:45:56 PM PST by San Rafael Blue
Here are two old songs to ponder and enjoy for what they were, and for what they meant at that time. I don't compare them to each other, the songs have been flying to and fro in my head, so perhaps they 'want to be written about'.
In this corner you have Sir Donovan Leitch of Scotland, made his fame in England with Mellow Yellow, Wear Your Love Like Heaven and others.
People forget that 1967 didn't just bring us Sergeant Pepper, we also heard a most intriquing stanza of First there is mountain, then thereis no mountain, then there is;, I know it sounds like loopy thinking, but Donovan was enjoying the sophistry of the visual image, asking us to, just for two and a half minutes, be aware of the temporal nature of things (Maya).
One need not be a buddhist or devotee of Sarte to think, Hmmm, that reminds me of molecluesand atoms, which make up everything we perceive in the physical world. I like the lilting flutes, the light, infectious jazzy beat. Youtube or google it up yourself, I defy you to hear it without saying 'Damn!, That's nice melody and a good toe-tapper too!". It's a pleasant audio confection, quite deceptive in its' simplicity. It becomes a flowing mantra that should not be stopped...for a while. Yes, I use terms like mantra, I consider the temporal nature of the physical world and I'm a Catholic (ex-altar boy at St Cecilia). I'm not afraid to examine other patterns of thought. I don't lose who I am or wish to become. This helps me to understand other cultures in other lands, new songs from familiar hands.
In the other corner, we have a group called The Byrds. They had Mr. Tamborine, written by Bob Dylan, The 23rd Psalm; or To Everything there is a Season.
Today, we examine another song; Chestnut Mare from 1970. There is much symbolism in this song, his pursuit of the wild and beautiful horse. He learns her habits, where she swims, where she goes to eat. The speaker throws his lasso high in the air, catches her, mounts her for a brief dazzling ride up this hillsides.
She's spooked by a snake, not sure what to do. In short order, they both jump down off a raised cliff, landing with a messy splash in a shallow pond below. Listen to him tell his story.
Here I am, thinking about these old songs. I wonder, did previous generations hold on to their melody memories so tightly, in the way I and others of a certain age still do?
Gee, and I thought it was just about taking psychotropic drugs.
Not much changing.
—Qingyuan Weixin as translated by D.T. Suzuki
Hurdy Gurdy Man is pretty great too.
But, Wears Her Love Like Heaven is just fantastic.
Rivers come from Mountains. Nothing like out-wash alluvial fans.
Never can hear that song quite the same way again after watching Goodfellas.
Wow dude, like I don’t think you even ‘experienced’ the Sixties man.
You don’t seem to ‘get’ sex OR drugs! And that’s really far out man.
If you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there.
Daughter of Donovan [Leitch]
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3
Jennifer Juniper, by Donavan
I'm not aware of the Byrds doing a song based on Psalm 23. If they did, please refresh my memory. (Memory is the second thing to fail with old age. I can't remember what the first is.)
Turn! Turn! Turn!(To everything there is a season) is based on Ecclesiastes 3. Pete Seeger, communist folk singer, put these words of the Bible to music, and the Byrds covered it and had a huge hit with it.
Even the Devil can quote Scripture.
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