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Atlantis (Donovan song) facts for kids

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Single by Donovan
from the album Barabajagal
  • "I Love My Shirt" (UK)
  • "To Susan On The West Coast Waiting" (US)
  • November 1968 (UK)
  • March 1969 (US)
Recorded May 1968
Length 4:58
Songwriter(s) Donovan Leitch
Producer(s) Donovan, Richard Podolor
Donovan singles chronology
"Hurdy Gurdy Man"

"Atlantis" is a song written and recorded by Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan. It was released as a single in 1968, and became a worldwide success; becoming a No. 1 hit in Switzerland in 1969, No.2 in Germany and South Africa, No. 12 in Canada, and No.4 in Austria. In the United States, where it served as the b-side to "To Susan on the West Coast, Waiting," it reached No. 7, whilst in the singer's native country the single managed only a modest No. 23 placing.

In 2001, Donovan and German pop band No Angels re-recorded the track for the closing credits of the Walt Disney Feature Animation picture Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). Included on a concomitant album for the German-speaking music market, it was once more released as a single and re-entered the top five in Austria and Germany.

Original by Donovan


The first half of the song is a quiet monologue spoken over the song's repeated musical melody, telling of the mythological antediluvian civilization of Atlantis. The second half of the song is more energetic, with Donovan singing of finding his true love in Atlantis. The theme is common for the 1960s: fanciful mythology as a symbol of the counterculture movement, with the hope that true love will be found if Atlantis can be rediscovered.

Despite persistent rumors, Donovan, in a 2008 interview with Goldmine Magazine, said that Beatles singer Paul McCartney did not perform any backing vocals on "Atlantis."

Track listings

7" Single

  1. Atlantis - 4:25
  2. Die Türken - 4:55


Chart (1984) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 19

Feller version

Single by Feller
Released 5 July 1999
Recorded 1998
Length 4:37
Label Polydor
Songwriter(s) Donovan Leitch
Producer(s) Adam Charon

In 1999, the German actor Thorsten Feller covered the song under the pseudonym Feller. The cover is included on the compilations Chartmix 5 and Top 13 (99) 20 Top Hits aus den internationalen Charts 5/99.

Track listings


  1. Atlantis (Radio Edit) - 3:44
  2. Atlantis (Acoustic Edit) - 3:50

No Angels version

Single by No Angels
Released November 19, 2001
Recorded 2000
Studio Park Studios,
(Tutzing, Germany)
Genre Pop
Length 4:14
Songwriter(s) Donovan Leitch
Producer(s) Leslie Mándoki
No Angels singles chronology
"There Must Be an Angel"
"When the Angels Sing" / "Atlantis"
"Something about Us"

Production and recording

In the late 1990s, Walt Disney Feature Animation started production on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, an animated science fiction/action film, based on the Atlantis saga. Interested in slipping his 1968 version into the film soundtrack, Donovan immediately opened negotiations with the studios; however Disney was barely interested in the song and plans eventually fell through. By 2000, Disney had committed German producer Leslie Mándoki to produce a concomitant album for the German-speaking music markets, entitled Stars Inspired by Atlantis. After stumbling over the original song, Mándoki approached Donovan by phone, describing him his idea of a collaboration with German newcomers No Angels, with whom Mándoki had previously worked on their debut Elle'ments (2001), and a few days later Donovan and the band met at the Lake Starnberg to start recording.

Music video

The single's music video was directed by Hannes Rossacher for DoRo Productions and shot in Berlin, Germany in fall 2001. It shows Donovan and the band in a recording studio accented by underwater settings, backdrops, and scenes inspired by the animated movie.

Track listings

Maxi single
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Atlantis" (Radio Mix)   4:14
2. "When the Angels Sing" (New Radio Mix)   3:47
3. "When the Angels Sing" (Christmas Mix)   3:56
4. "When the Angels Sing" (Special X-Mas Mix)   4:08
5. "Atlantis" (Submarine Mix)   4:00

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Elle'ments.



Region Certification Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria) Gold 15,000x
Germany (BVMI) Gold 250,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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