Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My Top Ten (Specific) Mountain Songs

There are hundreds of songs that feature the word "mountain" in their title, and climbing mountains as a way of demonstrating your love is one of the biggest songwriting clichés going. But these are my favourite songs about specific mountains, ones you could actually go climb... if you so wished.  

10. Tribes - Himalaya

A suitably epic sounding guitarathon. 

9. Beth Orton - Mount Washington

Turns out there are dozens of Mount Washingtons in North America - 15 in the USA alone, plus one in Canada. They'd all have to go some to be as beautiful as Beth Orton's song though.

8. Don McLean - Mountains O'Mourne

Originally written by Percy French back in 1896, perfectly suited to McClean's storytelling singing style.  

7. Doves - Snowden

Doves might have climbed higher had they spelled Snowdon correctly. As it is, I'm not actually sure this has anything to do with Wales's highest peak. 

6. Joe Walsh - Rocky Mountain Way

This is one mountain where you're guaranteed to see an Eagle. Badum-tish.

See also John Denver - Rocky Mountain High.

5. Half Man Half Biscuit - Lord Hereford’s Knob

Another Welsh mountain, otherwise known as Twmpa (hence "Could this be heaven, would that be the Severn? Twmpa, Twmpa, you’re gonna need a jumper"), inspires one of Nigel Blackwell's many songs about hill-walking and mountain-climbing... with a smattering of innuendo to warm the cockles.
Ever since the chattering classes invaded Hebden Bridge
And priced the likes of me and mine
To the pots of the Pennine Ridge
To South East Wales I was forced to flee
And now I have no job
That’s why tonight I’m sitting on top of Lord Hereford’s Knob
4. Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains

Like the ghost of a song heard on an impossible radio. Gorgeous.

Of course, the Blue Ridge Mountains were also popular with Laurel & Hardy fans.

3. Babyshambles - Killamangiro

A terrible pun, but a great song. 

See also Kilimanjaro by the Teardrop Explodes which is a classic album, although the title track wasn't on the original track listing and isn't available to link to anywhere on t'internet.

2. Modest Mussorgsky - A Night On Bare (Bald) Mountain

And now for something even older than The Mountains of Mourne - a truly majestic piece of Classical music, though there's some debate over whether the Russian translation of the title should be 'bare' or 'bald'... or, indeed, whether the version we're all familiar with owes slightly more to Rimsky-Korsakov than Mussorgsky. I don't claim to be an expert. 

1. The Supernaturals - Everest

The world's biggest mountain... and one of the best songs the Supernaturals ever recorded, gently mocking the whole "my love is bigger than a mountain" metaphor mentioned earlier.
I bought a goldfish to keep me company
In these dark days when you're not here with me
I walk round Safeway on my own
Look in the freezer cabinet, see my reflection and I'm all alone

You dropped me like a waitress drops a tray...

Those were my SPECIFIC mountain songs... remember, Ain't No Mountain High Enough doesn't count.

Which will you be climbing tonight?


  1. I always assumed in a mindless not-thinking, never listening to the lyrics sort of way that Neil Young's Sugar Mountain was indeed about a mountain. Good job I checked before I suggested it here. I shall stick with Doves, misspelt or otherwise...

    1. I did the exact same research regarding Sugar Mountain while compiling this chart.

  2. Oh dear... The Macc Lads "Ben Nevis".

  3. I have 'on top of spaghetti all covered in cheese' going round in my head so I suspect it's got something to do with mountains....hold the googling phone....yup, 'on top of old smokey'

    'I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed'

    Classic deep lyrics courtesy of the Scouts :)


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