♫ Catch The Wind ♫ (Redux)

This was Donovan’s debut single, released in March 1965 in the UK and a few months later in the U.S.  I last played it in 2019, and from reader’s comments I learned some things, such as that the Canadians thought of Donovan as the “British Bob Dylan”!  I also learned that he taught John Lennon to play the guitar!  Who knew, right?

Donovan had a fleeting love affair with model Linda Lawrence, who was then the girlfriend of the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones soon after writing this song. He bumped into her four years later and they married in 1970.  Now here’s my confusion … he says he wrote this song for Linda, even though he hadn’t met her yet when he wrote the song!

“‘Catch The Wind’, I wrote it for Linda, although I hadn’t really met her yet. It is a song of unrequited love, yet I hadn’t really met her, so how could I miss her? And I seem to write prophetic songs in the sense of the Celtic poet and I wrote this song before I met Linda, of a love I would like to have had and lost.”

This reached #4 in the UK and #23 in the U.S., and has been covered by more people than I can count on my ten fingers and ten toes!!!

Catch the Wind

In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty
I want to be
In the warm hold of your loving 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

When sundown pales the sky
I want to hide a while
Behind your smile
And everywhere I’d look, your eyes I’d find

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing
T’would make me sing
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

Diddy di dee dee diddy diddy
Diddy diddy diddy dee dee dee

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

Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

Songwriters: Donovan Leitch
Catch the Wind lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

29 thoughts on “♫ Catch The Wind ♫ (Redux)

  1. ” Canadians thought of Donovan as the “British Bob Dylan”! ”
    Particularly that song is indeed very Dylanesque. The sleepy non-singing vox, the primitive harmonica … it’s Dylan1 alright.

    “my ten fingers and ten toes!!!”
    Experts say we only have 8 fingers plus 2 opposable digits, we call thumbs.

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  2. Pingback: ♫ Catch The Wind ♫ (Redux) — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. It wasn’t just the Canadians who thought that about him: the British music press were full of comparisons of Donovan and Dylan. He didn’t teach Lennon to play the guitar – which Lennon could already do – but showed him a style of finger-picking which Lennon used on a few songs. I loved Donovan’s early albums: simple, meaningful folk music that didn’t often make our charts those days.

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    • Clarification: Donovan taught John how to play the Acoustic guitar, and John taught Donovan how to play the Electric guitar. Both have said this in various places. Yes, it’s a finger-picking style, but the styles are totally different, or they both would never have mentioned this in future-past interviews or memoirs. Just sayin’

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        • Is Donovan still around? We’ll have to ask him, since John is no longer available. Maybe together they cooked up the story to aid both of their careers, only, their careers didn’t need any help — they were already both quite famous.
          Supposdly this happened when they met in India as they both studied under whatever that guru guy’s name was. I heard it shortly after that, and I heard it several times after in television interviews. They both definitely credit each other for broadening their guitar horizons. I would love to hear “the rest of the story.”

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          • Yes he is, but I’m afraid I don’t have his phone number 😉

            Wikipedia says that Donovan and the Beatles were among a bunch who studied under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in early 1968 and quotes McCartney as saying that Donovan taught the style to both him and Lennon during their stay. I guess we’ll never know for sure, but it made for some great music 😊

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            • Ah. Never heard about the McCartney part. Neither Donovan nor John mentioned his participation. But if I read between the lines oroperly Donovan and George took sitar lessons together. They both started featuri g the instrument around the same time, but then all those yearsvare mumnled in memory now. I remember being there in the 60s dut it was like one long year, not a bunch of little ones. 🤩🥰😇🥰🤩

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  4. Another story about Donovan, though it’s been years since I last heard it, but his father tells it something like this. As Donovan came on stage at an outdoor concert, in the States I think, there was a giant cloudburst. Donovan immediately took control, and asked the milling crowd to stand still and clap their hands, and the rain would stop. So they did, the rain stopped, and he played an amazing concert for them. Is there a bit of a Celtic warlock in Donovan? I’m betting there is.
    I remembered that story one day while driving through an icy rainstorm one day, and semis were ending in the ditch around me. There was only me, and I could not clap because my hands were glued to the steering wheel, but I imagined a great group of people standing and clapping, and the rain suddenly stopped too. I had just listened to the weatherman in the next city say this storm covered all of western Ontario and would probably last all day, but ten minutes later he announced the rain had suddenly stopped there too. The sun did not burst out, the clouds were all still there for awhile, but the rain stopped, and the roads dried up. Was it because I invoked Donovan’s name in my mind. I have no idea, but I used that trick a time or three after that, and it worked every time. But the raingods paid me back, for everytime I went on vacation, even in Cuba, they would welcome me with a huge downpour, either on my way if I was driving, or as soon as I landed if I was flying! True stories all.
    I always wanted a woman like Donovan sang about in Catch the Wind. I finally found her when I was in my 50s…


    • Wonderful stories. Thanks.
      I’ve always loved Donovan, but never thought of him as anything like Dylan. Both were extremely unique. And though I love Dylan, his voice is nowhere near as pretty as Donovan’s.


      • The comparison was in the songwriting, I think. Both were single entertainers, standing on stage without help, mesmerizing the audiences with songs they wrote themselves. Definitely Bob’s voice left something to be desired, but that did not stop him from singing.
        I don’t know that Donovan ever hit a wrong note.

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