Witches. They’re mysterious, alluring, and often feared. With their intense moods and spooky powers, it’s easy to see why they were persecuted for so long. But witches have awakened from their slumber and taken on a new form – one that isn’t nearly as dark. Today we’ll be looking at the 10 best songs about witches. We’ve tried to pick the best of the bunch here from various playlists so there is bound to be something for everyone, there is certainly an eclectic mix – enjoy.
1. “Witchy Woman” – The Flying Burrito Brothers
“She’s all dressed up in black with a coven of scarlet women behind her / And she’s going to the ball, she’s going to the ball, the witch is on her way to the ball.”
When you think about it, the burrito brothers’ sound had been populating random lyrics since before anyone actually started looking into witchcraft in this country. But they really couldn’t have chosen a better song for when they finally decided to make those lyrics relevant. With its catchy lyrics and signature sojourn into the country genre, this song always makes me think of a Cinderella gone rogue – something that’ll really catch an audience’s interest. With a chorus like “Witchy woman, witchy woman / Witchy woman, where you gonna go?” there’s just no way you won’t want to go with her.
2. “Night Of The Hunter” – Thirty Seconds to Mars
“You can’t run from the night of the hunter / You can’t hide, you know he’s coming for you.”
Mumford and Sons obviously know that, like their name suggests, they’re sitting on a fortune pot of material to write about witches with. And it’s a wisdom that has served them well over the years since their rise in popularity. “Night Of The Hunter” offers listeners a very different picture of witches than the ones we’re used to. This song is unmistakably witchy, but it’s also kind of terrifying. It paints a picture of an old and powerful witch who has fallen on hard times, but knows she can’t escape the night of the hunter standing outside her door. It’s an eerie and fascinating song that leads to all sorts of questions about witches and the world they live in. After you listen to it, check out “Timshel” and “Below My Feet”, two other Mumford songs with witch references that are just as haunting.
3. “Season Of The Witch” – Donovan
“Season of the witch a-coming down now”
Donovan’s well known for his pretty weird, almost psychedelic way of singing about witches. But it doesn’t actually take that much to make you get the message from this song. “Season Of The Witch” is one that you can sing along to with no problem at all, but it’s also one that will linger in your mind long after the chorus has faded away, asking you to ponder just what Donovan is talking about while he sings about there being witches “a-coming down now.
4. “The Witch” – The Cult
“Once there was a witch who had eleven dogs and one cat / And a cat that swallowed gold.”
The Cult has always been associated with witchcraft, even if they didn’t really do anything with that association until relatively recently. But they had their own take on witches when they recorded this song on their Blood Ritual album in 1989, long before the whole Salem thing was even a thing anymore (not to mention before the word witch entered public consciousness).
5. “Witches Song” – The Craft
“Where’s my broom? Why is that missing? / I need to fly, I need to fly / Can’t you see the spirits in me? / I’m a woman, a free woman.”
On the surface, “Witches Song” sounds kind of like your average pop song until you get to the chorus and start paying attention. The Craft is aimed at female witches living in modern times. It warns them of all the dangers they’ll face as they face this new generation of witches and also gives some good advice on how to deal with those who would try to stop them. It’s a pretty interesting song that offers a more realistic portrayal of witches than we’re used to hearing.
6. “Sisters Of The Moon” – Fleetwood Mac
“Sisters of the moon, sisters of the night / A taste for blood and poison in a sultry kiss.”
This song is about witches as they’re described by Bram Stoker when he wrote Dracula. They’re part of a coven that’s looking for a new heir to their coven, and they’ve arranged a meeting with Jonathan Harker so that he can be their new leader. The problem is that Harker has reason to believe they’re actually vampires in disguise and as such isn’t quite sure what to make of his invitation.
7. “Cosmic Love” – Florence + The Machine
“Witches are all right and witches are so good / And I would know, ’cause I am one of them / Witches are undercover, ’cause I like to say they’re around.”
In a sense, Florence Welch was literally born to sing this song. She’s one of the musicians responsible for bringing witchcraft into mainstream pop music and making it more universally approachable. But “Cosmic Love” isn’t about witches themselves or even being a witch at all. It is about the idea that some people have that there’s something in the universe that draws us to each other and doesn’t leave us alone even when we try to get away from each other. If you can believe it, this is actually a pretty deep theme.
8. “I Put a Spell on You” – Jeff Beck
(this version features Joss Stone)
“I put a spell on you because you’re mine. / I love you so and that’s just all right.”
This one is a classic. It’s been covered by more artists than we can count, and it’s also fairly often used in films and television to give a scene an authentic “witchy” vibe. The lyrics aren’t very specific, but they’re still pretty catchy and they definitely have an effect on any crowd that hears them. This one was actually written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins originally, which explains the way the song shifts between genres multiple times throughout the song.
9. “I’d Rather Be Burned as a Witch” – Eartha Kitt
“I’d rather be burned as a witch / Than follow Christ for all of my life / I’d rather be dealt with unjustly than to suffer injustice at the hand of God.”
This one isn’t even really about witchcraft; it’s about how Eartha Kitt felt about her treatment as a black woman in America during the 60s and 70s. The line that’s quoted above is actually from a poem she wrote herself, and she has said that it’s intended to be read by African American slaves who have managed to escape their captors and are adjusting to life on the run.
10. “Witch’s Spell” · AC/DC
“She got a wart on her nose / She’s a pointy-nosed hag / She’s a spellbound witch, she has green eyes.”
This is one of the best rock and roll songs about witches, but it’s also one of the most problematic. The problem isn’t the lyrics; it’s that this song was never performed live. It was recorded during the White Album sessions and then shelved, supposedly because it didn’t fit in with the rest of the material. Does this mean that the band was embarrassed by this song? Not really. It’s a great song when performed live even today. But back in 1968, it probably would have been seen as too silly or not serious enough for their audience.