This chant is one of Krishna Das' early recordings, included on his second album. After a stay in India in the early '70s, he became a top kirtan practitioner in America, guiding meditations with his chants. In 1996, he released his first album, One Track Heart, which got the attention of Sting, who used it in his yoga practice.
The following year, Sting had Krishna Das and the Jivamukti gurus Sharon Gannon and David Life come to his home in Italy for a retreat, and Das asked him to perform on his next album. Sting accepted the offer and contributed vocals to "Mountain Hare Krishna" and bass to another track on the album, "Ring Song."
Most of the lyrics in this song are a Hindu mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
These mantra are used in chants to gain a higher consciousness. This particular mantra is a call for energy and protection, invoking the deities Krisha and Rama.
The melody is similar to "Amazing Grace," and at one point Krisha Das sings some words from that song. It was Roger Scheepers, a South African engineer who was working on the album, who came up with the idea.
Why is the word "Mountain" in the song title even though it is not in the lyric? In our interview with Krishna Das, he explained: "When you make a CD, you have to give a song a name, otherwise you can't collect the royalties every time somebody buys it or it's played. So, I had to start coming up with names for all these things."
Ekristheh from HalathSting is the one who steers the lyrics into "Amazing Grace." I love that he sang "that saved a soul, a soul like me" instead of a "wretch like me". Hearing the two lyrics blended together evokes the unity of faith and search for the divine. This is one of the most beautiful renditions of Hare Krishna I have ever heard.
The chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" in "Lady Marmalade" is French for "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" When Labelle performed it on television, they had to change it to "Voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir" (Do you want to dance with me tonight?).