Last modified on 7 June 2014, at 16:24

Donovan

I still carry with me the same themes as always — I'm still compelled to present mystic ideas...

Donovan Philips Leitch (born 10 May 1946), most commonly referred to simply as Donovan, is a Scottish singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Emerging from the British folk scene, he developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia and world music.

QuotesEdit

It seemed — in 1968 — the possibilities of peace and brotherhood could be realised that very year. We're still working on it.
  • The magic that you hear in tales and things was all based around the Celtic mythology of England, which is Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. I just drain from that source. I just drain everything. So the magic is there.
    • Interview in Rolling Stone (9 November 1967)
  • We are magic. It is magic that we're walking around. It's fantastic magic. Some people would call it miracles; I like to call it magic. … Yes, I'm very aware of this. Yes, the more aware I get, the more I can understand how big it is, how big it will get. It'll be harder to comprehend; that's why I have to go along with it, 'cause its so vast. To say to somebody that God is everything that lives and ever has lived and ever will live, and you're never going to touch and see, smell and be everything that is God. Magic is very hard to comprehend.
    • Interview in Rolling Stone (9 November 1967)

Catch The Wind (1965)Edit

In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty I want to be in the warm hold of your lovin' mind...
  • In the chilly hours and minutes
    Of uncertainty
    I want to be
    In the warm hold of your lovin' mind.

    To feel you all around me
    And to take your hand
    Along the sand,
    Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing,
'Twould make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.
  • For me to love you now
    Would be the sweetest thing,
    'Twould make me sing,
    Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.
  • When rain has hung the leaves with tears
    I want you near to kill my fears,
    To help me to leave all my blues behind.

    For standin' in your heart
    Is where I want to be
    And long to be,
    Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Sunshine Superman (1966)Edit

Sunshine came softly through my a-window today...
  • Sunshine came softly through my a-window today
    Could've tripped out easy a-but I've a-changed my ways

    It'll take time, I know it but in a while
    You're gonna be mine, I know it, we'll do it in style
    'Cause I made my mind up you're going to be mine.
    • "Sunshine Superman"
  • I'll tell you right now
    Any trick in the book now, baby, all that I can find...
    • "Sunshine Superman"
  • I'll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind
    'Cause I made my mind up you're going to be mine.
    • "Sunshine Superman"

Season Of The WitchEdit

Mmm... must be the season of the witch
  • When I look out my window,
    Many sights to see.
    And when I look in my window,
    So many different people to be...
  • You've got to pick up every stitch.
    Mmm... must be the season of the witch,
    Must be the season of the witch.

Mellow Yellow (1966)Edit

Wear your love like heaven...
  • I'm just mad about Saffron
    Saffron's mad about me

    I'm just mad about Saffron
    She's just mad about me.
  • They call me mellow yellow
    (Quite rightly)
    They call me mellow yellow...
  • I'm just mad about Fourteen
    Fourteen's mad about me
  • Electrical banana
    Is gonna be a sudden craze
    Electrical banana
    Is bound to be the very next phase...

A Gift from a Flower to a Garden (1967)Edit

Lord, kiss me once more, fill me with song
Allah, kiss me once more that
I may, that I may
Wear my love like heaven
  • Wear your love like heaven.
    • "Wear Your Love Like Heaven"
  • Lord, kiss me once more, fill me with song
    Allah, kiss me once more that
    I may, that I may
    Wear my love like heaven

    Wear my love like
    Wear my love like heaven.
    • "Wear Your Love Like Heaven"

Hurdy Gurdy Man (1967)Edit

Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man came singing songs of love...
Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast.
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity.
  • Histories of ages past
    Unenlightened shadows cast.
    Down through all eternity
    The crying of humanity.

    'Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
    Comes singing songs of love...
    • In a performance during "Beatle Week" in Liverpool (27 August 2006), Donovan sang lyrics he declared that George Harrison had improvised for "Hurdy Gurdy Man":
When the truth gets buried deep,
Beneath the [[thoughts] of years of sleep,
Time demands a turnaround,
And once again the truth is found.

Atlantis (1968)Edit

Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new: Hail Atlantis!
  • The great Egyptian age is but a remnant of The Atlantian culture.
    The antediluvian kings colonised the world
    All the gods who play in the mythological dramas
    In all legends from all lands were from fair Atlantis.
    Knowing her fate, Atlantis sent out ships to all corners of the Earth.
    On board were the Twelve:
    The Poet, the Physician, the Farmer, the Scientist,
    The Magician and the other so-called Gods of our legends.
    Though gods they were —
    • Spoken prelude (varies slightly among versions)
  • Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new: Hail Atlantis!
    • Spoken prelude
  • Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be.
    • Repeated chorus.

Grip interview (1997)Edit

Donovan interview in Grip Monthly #5 (March 1997)
I wanted to save our culture from the stupidity and the bigotry and the ignorance that threatened it...
  • The most important of my achievements, if you want to call them that, was that I successfully introduced mystical ideas into pop culture, which was my obsession and my compulsion when I was 16 years old. So, behind all of this fame and fortune, there was a seeker, on a spiritual path — a young man who wanted to discover and share with others an alternative way of looking at the world. I wanted to save our culture from the stupidity and the bigotry and the ignorance that threatened it. And there was the Buddhist way, and the Celtic way.
  • I found myself at the top of the the ladder, with everything, but with one thing missing: that one thing was a companion. Because, it's cliché to say, but nothing really means anything in the end unless you're really doing what you want to do, and... I walked off a huge world tour, with a yacht and television specials, and record deals, and film deals. I walked away and my whole thing collapsed. I shocked my business world and walked back to my cottage, which I had been renting to two American girls. One of them was Cynthia, and I stayed with her for two days, then her friend Lori came back from Clapton's house, where there had been a party going on for almost a week. Lori came in with another friend, and it was Linda, my Sunshine Supergirl from 1965 whom I'd written all my songs for. We hadn't married then, because she had a child with Brian Jones and wasn't ready for another relationship. And it was good that we didn't marry back then, because my four years of '60's fame would have wrecked the marriage. But we met again, and I went away from fame and into the arms of my muse, my lover, and then my wife, and then the mother of my children.
  • I still carry with me the same themes as always — I'm still compelled to present mystic ideas...
  • Up to '67, the drugs were, uh, soft. Marijuana, and even LSD, I considered soft drugs then. But, then, after '67, needle drugs and the strong amphetamines came in, and that's when the Beatles and Donovan stood up and said, 'Try meditation instead.' And I still stick by that, of course. You've got to be very, very careful. I'm talking about naive days, before the drug barons and the dealers took over. It was once a small, bohemian event. But it was when millions started wanting to get high that it got bad. And when Haight-Asbury turned into Skid Row, the Beatles and me stood up and said, 'Give it a rest.' The answer is that each individual must face the problem by himself. And meditation is an alternative. Meditation is a lot better for you, and it's great to be straight.

Donovan: "We are all one shining Being" (1998)Edit

"Donovan: We are all one shining Being" in New Renaissance, Vol. 7, No. 4, (1998)
There is a world consciousness. ... now a man and a woman can see that we are on one planet ...
These are changes that are important. But when we spoke about these things in the 60s people said we were dreamers.
  • When I was 14 or 15 I wanted to be a protest singer like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. My father was a socialist and worked with the unions. I thought change was to change the government and to change from one system, capitalism, to socialism and to make the poor of the world happy. But when I opened the book The Way of Zen by Alan Watts and I opened up the Diamond Sutra, and Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching, I realized that the problem of suffering was much deeper than governments and social problems. The problems were very deep. They were nothing short of changing the way we look at reality. Therefore I became a teacher, or a reflection of the teachings. Phil Ochs, the great protest singer, said I had given up protest, and Joan Baez said to Bob Dylan, “He’s given up protest.” But what I had given up was looking for the answer in social change. The change was to be a spiritual change. The suffering was coming from an erroneous view of reality...
  • We are one, we are all brothers and sisters, but the people of the world do not know this. So this was the teaching, but how do you teach it? As young people, John Lennon, George Harrison, myself, Carlos Santana and other spiritual seekers in pop music, we wanted to know the answer but we found a question: How do you convince the rest of the western world that they are ill, they are mentally ill, that they have a sickness and that they have lost the way? How do you teach that? You cannot teach that in the normal sense. You have to encourage a spiritual call, so we devoted ourselves to making songs which would have a spiritual call inside of them, hoping to awaken an awareness with this music. And other people in the arts felt the same...
  • Today I can’t comment on what the problem is in China, Russia, or Africa without realizing again and again the Diamond Sutra, which says that we look at the world and see it as separate but in fact, this is an illusion, but the reality is that we are one shining being. Until this can be understood, I can’t see any change. But I see some change now. There is a world consciousness. In the "old" New Age, they talked about the Age of Aquarius being an age of enlightenment. And now when a man goes to the moon he sees the earth. Before when someone did meditation he or she could meditate on the earth and the moon but now a man and a woman can see that we are on one planet and that the water is polluted and that the air is dirty. So these are changes that are important. But when we spoke about these things in the 60s people said we were dreamers.

External linksEdit

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