Donovan – Atlantis

I first heard this song while watching Goodfellas as Joe Pesci is beating Billy Batts. Donovan is reading a poem and then the song really kicks in with it’s sixties goodness around the 1:50 mark with Way down below the ocean…

Atlantis peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. The background vocals are credited as “Donovan’s fans.” It was rumored that Paul McCartney, who had earlier contributed to Donovan’s hit “Mellow Yellow,” sang backing vocals,It has since been discredited by Mark Lewisohn (Beatle historian),  McCartney spent the month of November 1968 mostly at his farm in Scotland.

The song was originally the B side in America to To Susan on the West Coast Waiting.

From Songfacts

This song begins as a long narrative poem in which Donovan tells of the legendary island of Atlantis. Exotic and mythological images were on the minds of many Hippies in the ’60s, and Atlantis was the symbol of the counterculture moment with the hope that if true love is found, Atlantis will be reached. The only sung lines in the song are:

Way down beneath the ocean
Where I wanna be she may be

The song was used in a violent scene in the movie Goodfellas.

Donovan re-recorded the song as a parody “Hail Atlantis” on the animated series Futurama. He also redid the song with the German group No Angels for the German soundtrack of Atlantis: The Lost Empire entitled “Atlantis 2002.”

Atlantis

The continent of Atlantis was an island
Which lay before the great flood
In the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean
So great an area of land, that from her western shores
Those beautiful sailors journeyed
To the South and the North Americas with ease
In their ships with painted sails

To the east, Africa was a neighbor
Across a short strait of sea miles
The great Egyptian age is but a remnant of The Atlantian culture
The antediluvian kings colonized 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
And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new
Hail Atlantis!

Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be
Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be
Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be

Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be
Way down below the ocean (she may, she may, she may)
(She may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be (she may, she may, she may)

My antediluvian baby (she may, she may, she may)
Oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
(She may, she may, she may)
I want to see you some day (she may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be
My antediluvian baby (she may, she may, she may)
Oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah (she may, she may, she may)
(She may, she may, she may)
My antediluvian baby

Way down below the ocean (she may, she may, she may)
(She may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be (she may, she may, she may)
My antediluvian baby
Way down below the ocean
I love you, girl
I want to see you some day (she may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be
My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
Way down below the ocean
I want to see you some day (she may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be
My antediluvian baby
Way down below the ocean
(She may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be
My antediluvian baby
Way down below the ocean
I want to see you
Where I wanna be, she may be
My antediluvian baby
You gotta tell me where she gone
I want to see you some day
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, oh yeah
Oh glub glub, down down, yeah
Where I wanna be
My antediluvian baby

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

11 thoughts on “Donovan – Atlantis”

  1. I think you very well could be right…probably a safe bet…

    The poem gets old after so many listens but…it does setup the anticipation of when the song kicks in. I think this was his last top ten hit.

    Like

  2. I gotta be honest, I usually like the songs you post, but this was one guy I never really liked. I’m not really sure what it was about him. Maybe it was the fact that we seemed to play the hell out of Sunshine Superman and Jennifer Juniper at the first station I worked. He just got on my nerves! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL… You know where I started to like it though right? Goodfellas…When I hear it now I think of Joe Pesci beating the crap out of Billy Batts.

      Like

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