25 Of The Best Songs About Mountains To Lift You Up

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Nature lovers or not, you can’t help but be in awe of mountains. They are beautiful, vast, intimidating, and mysterious. No wonder songwriters find them a source for songs.

In music, mountains are used literally and metaphorically. Songwriters often describe their grandeur in relation to being home. Or they liken them to obstacles that we must face in life.

If you’re looking for songs to add to your mountains playlist, we’re here to help. Here are 25 of the best songs about mountains rising over the horizon.

1. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” By John Denver

Starting off our list is a song that’s been massively popular over the last few years. John Denver is one of the most famous classic country artists, and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is one of the giant feathers in his cap.

At its core, this song is an ode to West Virginia and all it has to offer. That doesn’t limit this song, though. It can be your perfect company when driving or seeing the mountains on the horizon.

Denver sings a solemn song about the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and his home state. It calls to him, making him realize that he should have gone home the previous day.

2. “The Climb” By Miley Cyrus

Mountains have deep symbolism in music. Miley Cyrus brings them to bear with a more negative connotation. During her more pop-centric days, “The Climb” brought encouragement to millions.

This song encourages you to keep going despite the challenges coming your way. The mountain in the song is a metaphor for the obstacles that we must face and go through. The climb to the top isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’ll be on the verge of quitting.

But what makes you strong when climbing this symbolic mountain is the climb itself. Will you quit even before you’re halfway? Or will you push yourself and reach the top?

3. “Blue Ridge Mountains” By Fleet Foxes

For Fleet Foxes, the mountains take on a more homey appearance. In “Blue Ridge Mountains,” writer Robin Pecknold sings a song to his brother, Sean.

In the lyrics, the singer encourages his brother to stay longer with him by using the Blue Ridge Mountains as a rallying point. He tells his brother that there’s a place for him at his side. He further implores him to skip out on his flight and spend time with him instead.

The singer asks if he’d like to drive to the countryside, perhaps to reconnect more. It would be a chance for them to go back to their past and be reminded of familial love.

4. “Fire On The Mountain” By The Marshall Tucker Band

Continuing our list is another song with “mountain” in the title. “Fire on the Mountain” is a song that’s been covered by quite a few bands. But we’ve chosen The Marshall Tucker Band version for this list.

The story behind “Fire on the Mountain” took place during the California gold rush. A family leaves their Carolina home, hoping they’d find gold and get rich. The family man believes that gold is waiting for him up in the hills.

But rather than this California fortune leading to profit and fame, the singer is shot dead. All for a “worthless claim.”

5. “The Mountains Win Again” By Blues Traveler

Like Miley Cyrus’ song “The Climb,” Blues Traveler uses the mountains as a symbol of a barrier. “The Mountains Win Again” follows a man who goes through heartbreak.

The relationship is beyond repair, as attested by the line, “Dreams we dreamed at night were never meant to come to life.” Perhaps it’s the girl who wants out, as the singer “can’t understand the ease she pulled away her hand.”

We can understand his pain, though. Moving on is such a huge thing to do, and it’s like a mountain he can’t climb.

6. “Sing To The Mountain” By Elephant Revival

Plenty of mountainous songs bring themes of Appalachian music and Southern culture. Elephant Revival brings a quiet bluegrass rhythm to their song “Sing to the Mountain.”

This song encourages listeners to get in touch with their roots. The message behind it is for us to listen to the rhythm of our hearts.

The lyrics also coax listeners to sing to the mountains, “’cause everything is you.” This line tells us that we are one with the mountain, the moon, and “just about everything.”

7. “Sugar Mountain” By Neil Young

Veering away from bluegrass, Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain” is a phenomenal entry to our list. The song was written at the start of Young’s career when he was only nineteen!

He was still young then, but the song laments about lost youth. “You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain” means he isn’t young forever. He keeps going back to his younger years while his life moves forward.

At the same time, the mountain can be a symbol of self-growth and challenges. He’s moving away from it, going through changes along the way.

8. “Rocky Mountain High” By John Denver

Coming back with a second legendary track is John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.” If you’re a country fan, this track should already be on your playlist before finding our suggestions. If not, stop wasting time and put the song on!

Denver describes the perfect mountain trip in this folksy rock song. The song’s title is literal, as the track discusses him getting high in the mountains with his friends.

The singer also talks about discovering forests and streams, which for him, is a time for introspection. The “high” in the title can also refer to one’s feelings when surrounded by these wonderful creations.

9. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” By Marvin Gaye And Tammi Terrell

A list of songs with “mountains” in the lyrics can’t be complete without Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell‘s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” This track is as great at encouraging you to keep moving forward as it is by reminding you of the mountains.

In the song, the mountains return as a symbol of opposition, along with the valley and river. What the singer says is that if he needs her, she’ll come to him. And nothing can stand in her way, even the tallest mountain.

Though the song says that they have already broken up, still, she made a promise to be by his side whenever he needs her.

10. “High On A Mountain Top” By Loretta Lynn

If you’re looking for an appreciation for country life, Loretta Lynn’s “High on a Mountain Top” is for you. This is a simple song about how much nicer country life is than city life.

“High on a Mountain Top” paints country life as a more raw, authentic experience. Here, the people live, love, and “laugh a lot.” They are also described as “God-fearing, simple and real.”

The singer appreciates the beauty that country life provides. Despite not being rich, love abounds in the family. And this is enough for her to choose to live up in the mountain than in the city below.

11. “My Tennessee Mountain Home” By Dolly Parton

Another ode to country living is Dolly Parton‘s “My Tennessee Mountain Home.” This song is just the right kind of therapy you need if you’re missing the place where you grew up.

“My Tennessee Mountain Home” pays tribute to the singer’s favorite place. She lives the kind of life most of us want. Spending summer afternoons on the porch, watching the kids playing. And before you know it, darkness falls over the land.

The song also reflects on her upbringing, the beauty of the nature around her, and the mountain of her humble childhood.

12. “Mountain Music” By Alabama

Here’s a song that mentions “mountain” without the need for a deeper analysis. Alabama‘s “Mountain Music” is simply a feel-good song to celebrate a typical day in the company of nature.

Alabama sings about how deeply tied to southern culture mountain music is. Reliving those memories, it comes in as a beautiful anthem for their Southern influences and audience.

In the lyrics, the singer offers appreciation for his surroundings. He plans on climbing the mountain and swimming in the river to his hideaway. He imagines a day full of adventures just like the fictional Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn did.

13. “Rocky Top” By Osborne Brothers

Jumping back to the 1960s, we have a track that is sometimes considered a college fight song. The 1968 classic “Rocky Top” by the Osborne Brothers has more to do with the beauty of Tennessee than a fight.

The song title refers to a city in Tennessee that the singer looks back on with fondness. Up there, there’s no smog and no telephone bills. He recalls bringing a woman there who was “wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop.”

Though the land on Rocky Top is not suitable for farming, he misses the place. Living in the city only heightens his longing for his “home sweet home.”

14. “You Gave Me A Mountain” By Elvis Presley

In the early 1970s, Elvis Presley covered an iconic song from singer-songwriter Marty Robbins. While both versions are beautiful, we’ve chosen Elvis’ version. His soulful, heartfelt voice is ideal for the emotional “You Gave Me a Mountain.”

In the lyrics, the singer has been through many emotional obstacles. His mother died giving birth to him, and this caused his father to blame him. For the singer, this feels like being in prison for something he never did. All these problems are like hills that he was able to climb.

But years later, the singer’s own wife takes his son and leaves him. For him, that obstacle is like a mountain that he cannot overcome.

15. “Mountains” By LSD

Moving to one of the more modern songs, LSD’s “Mountains” is a great addition to our list. The song was released in 2018 from the LSD album.

At its core, “Mountains” reflects strong feelings between lovers. “I breathe you” and “When you walk, I kiss the ground” are just some of the lines that show their dedication to each other.

Their love is so strong that they will do anything for each other. Even moving mountains, if that’s what it takes. This tells us what they’re willing to give to make their relationship work.

16. “Moving Mountains” By Usher

American singer Usher is here to move mountains as well, bringing an R&B vibe to the playlist. Released in 2008, “Moving Mountains” isn’t one of his most popular. But to those that know the song, it’s an easy entry to the top of their list.

“Moving Mountains” is about infidelity and the struggle to move away from it. Here, the singer cheated on his wife and tries to make things right again. She agrees to stay and work it out with him but eventually fails to do this.

Ultimately, he’s unable to make amends for his sins as his wife is not able to fully forgive him. Getting over his infidelity is “like moving mountains.”

17. “Thunder On The Mountain” By Bob Dylan

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan is one of the many iconic names on this playlist. “Thunder on the Mountain” helped him achieve that status. This track wasn’t released until his 2006 album Modern Times.

The song juxtaposes romance and religion in many places. It is also filled with biblical allusions. The title itself describes what happens in Exodus 19:16-19. God descends upon Mount Sinai, accompanied by thunder, lightning, and a loud horn.

Another allusion is “gonna grab my trombone and blow.” It refers to the archangel Gabriel blowing his horn. Interestingly, Dylan mentions singer Alicia Keys several times.

18. “Misty Mountain Hop” By Led Zeppelin

Our next song is “Misty Mountain Hop” by Led Zeppelin. On the surface, you may think the song is about Lord of the Rings, as it brings the story’s mountain range to life.

The song’s true meaning is about the Hyde Park protests of 1968. At the end of the song, the singer plans on “packing my bags for the Misty Mountains.”

Interestingly, the Misty Mountains are in Wales, where lead vocalist Robert Plant decided to settle. Author J.R.R. Tolkien also referenced the mountain in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Plant is a fan of Tolkien and sometimes used some references from the book.

19. “Blue Ridge Cabin Home” By Bluegrass Album Band

Up next, we have a song by the Bluegrass Album Band. “Blue Ridge Cabin Home” is another ode to Virginia, particularly the Blue Ridge Hills.

In the song, we find the singer recalling all the wonderful places in Virginia. He recalls roaming around what he considers home when he was younger. He has fallen in love with the hills where his own parents were buried.

The place is so dear to him that he wishes to be buried “near my Blue Ridge mountain home.” There’s nowhere else he’d rather rest than where his heart is.

20. “Mountains” By Biffy Clyro

Scotland’s Biffy Clyro is one of the more recent additions to this list. The band’s sound is hard to describe, but their track “Mountains” is always certain to impress.

According to Simon Neil, the band’s lead vocalist, the song is about the band’s life following their 2007 album Puzzle. He adds that it’s all about standing back up after going through difficult times. He was going through grief over the loss of his mother.

The song was also inspired by the band’s encounter with a Welshman. Apparently, this man enjoys snowboarding. One day he fell down teeth first while snowboarding. His teeth struck a piece of stone, said to be a chip from the mountainside. Hence the line, “I took a bite out of a mountain range.”

21. “Mountain Top” By Built To Spill

Released recently in 2020, the band Built to Spill covered Daniel Johnston’s “Mountain Top.” Recorded as a tribute to the singer, it’s up to you which version you want in your playlist! While we’ve chosen Built to Spill’s, both are wonderful renditions.

The song is about having a perspective of your entire life. And there’s no better place to do it than “on top of a mountain top,” where you can see everything.

While contemplating, the singer goes back to the days when he was still with his lover. As he thinks about his life, he looks ahead to all the new challenges he has to overcome.

22. “Misty Mountains” By Peter Hollens Ft. Tim Foust

Can you discuss misty mountains without mentioning the “Misty Mountains”? This version of Peter Hollens featuring Tim Foust from the soundtrack of The Hobbit is massively popular among fans of the novel and movie.

The song brings voice to the lyrics written in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. It opens with a description of the imposing Misty Mountains, which hides “long-forgotten gold.”

The song also describes what takes place in and around the mountains. In the night, the winds roar, and the trees appear as if they are torched.

23. “Ask The Mountains” By Vangelis

Bringing a further voice to nature is the Voices album from Vangelis. “Ask the Mountains” is a heartbreak song that tries to find out why the lovers have to part.

The song opens with the singer addressing his lover and pleading with her not to follow him. He tells her to “ask the mountains, springs, and fountains” why there is an end to their love. If it’s real love, why can’t it go on?

Throughout the song, we can feel the sadness that comes with a breakup. The singer expresses his longing for someone he already lost.

24. “Mountain At My Gates” By Foals

British rock band Foals bring more of an alt-rock vibe to our mountainous playlist. Like many of the songs here, “Mountain at My Gates” paints the mountain as an obstacle to overcome.

Once again, this song can have whatever meaning you take from it. Many listen to this song for encouragement to overcome trials. Others take the song to relate to recovering from addiction.

However you feel, this 2015 hit brings an air of encouragement. You may encounter obstacles as great as mountains. But eventually, you’ll see them far behind you.

25. “The Big Rock Candy Mountains” By Harry McClintock

Closing our list is Harry McClintock’s classic track “The Big Rock Candy Mountains.” Most people heard this song from the soundtrack of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? The song has only the vocalist and his acoustic guitar.

In the lyrics, a drifting hobo encourages the “boys” to come with him to the Big Rock Candy Mountains. For him, this is what constitutes heaven. It’s a place where there are hay-filled barnyards, windless and snowless nights, and cops that can’t chase him.

It’s also a place where cigarette trees grow, and the streams are alcohol. Here, no one has to work. Everyone can be merry all day long and sleep throughout the night.

Summing Up Our List Of Mountain Songs

There you have our compilation of songs about mountains. They are referred to either literally or symbolically, and either way, we can see just how imposing mountains are.

In the literal sense, the mountains always evoke feelings of awe. But metaphorically, we can only wish that we can overcome the mountains in our paths.

Did we forget your favorite song about the mountains? We hope not. But aside from that, we hope that you liked the songs we’ve included on our list.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.