Arthur C. Clark said that magic is a science we do not understand. It is perhaps for this reason that we term whatever we cannot explain as magic. It could be falling in love in the most unexpected way or things falling into place in unexplainable ways.
Songwriters have used the word “magic” to refer to various phenomena they cannot understand, but some prefer using it as a metaphor. There are plenty of songs about magic, and here are twenty of them we think are awesome.
20. Magic Stick by 50 Cent and Lil Kim
A very explicit song, with both artists talking about their sexual prowess. Lil Kim even says her sexual skills are so magical that they can afford to buy her mink coats and leather goods. 50 Cent had initially wanted Trina to perform the song but changed his mind to have Lil Kim do it. it was supposed to be on his record, but Lil Kim delayed sending the song to him. Once the deadline passed, 50 Cent allowed her to use it for her album “La Bella Mafia.”
19. Got My Mojo Workin’ by Muddy Waters
“Mojo” allegedly refers to magical charms, specifically those that give men sexual powers over women. It is no wonder that in the song, Waters talks about getting a mojo hand so that women will be at his command. In this context, a mojo hand would probably be an amulet to carry around, and going by the lyrics, it could be four-leaf clovers or dry black cat bones.
Waters sings he has tried all he can but cannot seem to get the girl of his dreams hence he resorts to magical charms. However, the song was originally performed by Ann Cole in 1956 after Preston Foster wrote it. Since Waters toured with Cole, he must have picked it from her.
18. Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf
This is a song that came about purely by chance. The band members were in the studio having fun with the instruments, but the recording engineers loved whatever was being played so they recorded it.
The band ended up with a track with no lyrics. John Kay took the track home and started improvising lyrics, and somehow, “Magic Carpet Ride” was created in about twenty minutes. Allegedly, it is about drug use, and the feeling of being high is like being taken on a magic carpet ride.
17. Black Magic Woman by Santana
Peter Green composed the lyrics to this song but left even before his band, Fleetwood Mac, could record it. According to RollingStone, Green ran into a group of people who practiced black magic and were into the occult immediately after writing this song.
He changed negatively, even rejecting the money from royalties, and eventually was committed to a mental institution. Santana revered Fleetwood Mac and covered this song which climbed to No. 4 in the US and Canada.
16. Puff The Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul & Mary
Lenny Lipton read a children’s poem “The Tale of Custard the Dragon” by Ogden Nash, and felt inspired. So, when he found himself sitting next to a typewriter, he immediately started typing what would be the lyrics of this song. For some, the song’s title is a metaphor, talking about smoking marijuana. However, Lipton insisted it was innocently about a dragon. The song was covered by different artists. Eventually, it inspired a children’s book of the same title.
15. Don’t Kill the Magic by MAGIC!
MAGIC! Is a Canadian reggae fusion band, and the lead vocalist Nasri Atweh is behind the lyrics of this song. Atweh is known for being the co-writer of some of Justin Bieber’s hit songs, such as “Never Say Never” and “As Long as You Love Me.” He also co-wrote Chris Brown’s “Next To You” and “Don’t Judge Me.” “Don’t Kill The Magic” is from the album of the same name and is one of the four singles. It talks about being ready to do anything for a relationship to go on except giving up on love, the magic.
14. Magic by The Cars
The late Ric Ocasek will always be remembered as a creative songwriter who inspired many musicians including the late Kurt Cobain. He penned this song that topped the Billboard Top Tracks chart and peaked at No.12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The video shows how Ocasek can magically walk on water and others attempt the same feat but plunge into the pool.
Of course, it took a few takes to perfect the illusion. Adam Sandler even found the song perfect for “Click” for the film’s opening scene. The movie is about a magical remote control that allows Sandler’s character to fast-forward through unpleasant scenarios.
13. Love Potion No. 9 by The Searchers
This song is a composition by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. It was originally performed by The Clovers, becoming their biggest hit before The Searchers popularized it in the UK with their version. Harold Winley had formed The Clovers in his teens, but even if the song was a massive hit, the band did not enjoy financial success. The lyrics talk about a young man in search of love so he goes to a gypsy for help. The gypsy advises the man to use love potion number nine.
12. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police
Sting wrote the song in 1976. He had moved to London in 1975 and was broke, but the hopes of forming a band kept him alive. He performed this song at an audition in Zanzibar, a bar in Covent Garden, but was turned down. Eventually, when the band, The Police, came to be in 1977, Sting was the songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist. The song became a commercial success as it became the number-one single in the UK.
11. I Put A Spell On You by Annie Lennox
This song was originally performed by Screaming’ Jay Hawkins. He wrote it in the mid-50s, but when he and his band went to the recording studio, they were drunk. So, the resulting song had lots of grunts and moans. DJ Alan Freed convinced Hawkins that there was no need to clean up the song.
That Hawkins could take up the persona of a deranged and bewitched man; thus, the singer would emerge from coffins with fog machines giving him a ghostly look. He even incorporated some voodoo, such as a bone in his nose. The song talks about casting a spell on a girl so he can have her.
10. A Kind of Magic by Queen
In 1986, the film “Highlander” was released. When Roger Taylor, Queen’s drummer watched it, he was captivated by the phrase “a kind of magic,” which the character Connor MacLeod uses to brag about his immortality. Taylor developed a tune inspired by the phrase, and “A Kind of Magic” was born. According to UDiscoverMusic, Freddie Mercury believed in the song so much that he convinced his bandmates to rework it as a single.
9. Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac
In 1974, Stevie Nicks read a book, “Triad” by Mary Leader, and was captivated by the story of a girl possessed by a spirit called Rhiannon. The name stuck in Nicks’ head, and she knew she had to write a song about it. So, when she began playing the piano, she wrote a song about a woman and birds.
She even recorded birds singing, and only later did she realize that Rhiannon was a goddess of steeds. She would appear when one was in danger, and the person in trouble would black out. Upon waking up, the danger would be gone, and Rhiannon’s three birds would sing as they flew away. This is all in Welsh mythology.
8. Houdini by Foster The People
Mark Foster, the pop band’s guitarist, wrote the song. When asked by MVRemix Rock blog if he were to pick a song from the “Torches” album to sell it, he said it would have to be “Houdini.” He explained that the song represents the different elements in the entire album. Foster once said that it was inspired by his favorite magician.
7. Superstition by Stevie Wonder
Wonder disclosed that he did not believe in superstition hence he penned the song. He continued to explain that he did not believe in what people said about breaking glass or that number thirteen brings bad luck. Therefore, in this song, he is discouraging superstitious people from paying too much attention to things they do not understand because they suffer.
6. Love Sex Magic by Ciara Featuring Justin Timberlake
The song is about getting intimate, and Ciara promises to make the boy believe in love, sex, and magic. She compares his touch to magic as it gets her reacting strangely. Ciara revealed that making the video was the fun part because they had to do many takes with Timberlake biting on her neck, while she licked his ears to visualize the message in the song.
5. A Whole New World by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward
Alan Menken is the composer behind this beautiful piece, while the lyrics were by Tim Rice. According to Playbill, Menken, Rice, and Chris Montan felt something magical with the song featured in “Aladdin.” Menken even said that when he wrote the song, he got on that magic carpet ride metaphysically.
In the 1992 film, Brad Kane and Lea Salonga were the artists, but since then, it has been covered by different musicians. This version by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward has garnered lots of views on YouTube.
4. Magic by Coldplay
For Chris Martin, the love he had for Gwyneth Paltrow, his ex-wife, was like magic, and he did not want to give it up. Unfortunately, things did not work out between them despite trying to salvage their marriage. Eventually, they had to let the relationship, but Martin insisted in the emotional breakup song that he would still love her and did not want anybody else but her.
3. Magic In The Air by Magic System Featuring Chawki
Magic System comprises four men who hail from Cote d’Ivoire. Their start in music was bumpy as published by Redbull Music Academy. From borrowing houses and cars to making their first low-budget video, Magic System has risen to be one of the most popular bands that play French music. “Magic In The Air” was perceived to be France’s lucky song during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Every time France scored, the song would be played, and the France national team “magically” won.
2. Black Magic by Little Mix
If you feel like you are yet to get the man of your dreams, Little Mix came up with a solution; they have the “Black Magic.” One of the group members, Leigh-Ann disclosed that the secret potion they talk about in the song is a metaphor for confidence. The girls believe that if you are confident enough, you can make any man fall for you. However, some fans have misinterpreted the lyrics to be sexual.
1. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Good things take time, and this song is the epitome of perfection. Mars does not like to disappoint his fans with mediocre content. So, it took him four years to record a song worthy of being released to the public. Mars encountered writer’s block that almost made “24K Magic” not happen, but the wait was worth it. The song, inspired by the 90’s music scene, topped the charts in different countries, although it peaked at No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
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