“I Climbed The Mountain” is one of Strawberry Alarm Clock‘s final singles, and is a non-LP song that was backed with “Three” in 1969 after the released of the band’s final LP, Good Morning Starshine. “I Climbed The Mountain” is a nice but unremarkable orchestrated pop song with a subtle air of spiritual redemption (mostly in the lyrics, which quote the title of the well-known 1937 gospel song “Peace In The Valley” and have the general atmosphere of revivalist ecstasy).
Musically, “I Climbed The Mountain” is distinguished by two elements: a soft-rock string section and an interesting rat-tat-tat bass guitar part at the end of each measure. Vocalist Paul Marshall has a good, if not particularly strong, voice that matches the orchestra pretty well, and he does a good job with the tricky up-and-down melody.
The lyrics of “I Climbed The Mountain” are chock full of folk/gospel utopian visions, each line deepening the feeling of some religious experience having taken place, as the singer describes climbing a mountain and seeing “the other side”, a perfect land to strive for:
“There was peace in the valley
There was hope in the land
There was joy in the children
There was love, beautiful love
In the heart of man”
Ultimately, “I Climbed The Mountain” is one of Strawberry Alarm Clock’s weaker singles, sounding more like “Put Your Hand In The Hand” by Ocean than may be comfortable for many Clock fans. It wants to be a good song, and almost makes it, but there just seems to be a lack of conviction behind it.