Perhaps Hollywood’s latest kick has been sexy teenage vampires doing sexy things, but what the ’90s favored was sexy teenage witches doing sexy things (anyone remember “The Craft” or “Charmed”?). In honor of some of the hilarious misconceptions (and I do stress the misconceptions part) hurled UNF Pagan’s Discussion Group’s way (the scoop’s on page 10 of our physical product), I’ve tossed together a list of the Top Five Bewitching Ballads. Sorry, no Eagles in this batch. … Grab a broom and prepare for flight:
“I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Both CCR and Nina Simone both had good runs trying to pull off as dynamic of a rendition of Hawkins’ original, but there really wasn’t much point. Despite its constant cropping up on Monster Mash Mixtapes and crap, the man who regularly broke onto stages during performances from coffins penned himself a classic, near-obsessive yearning 1956 ditty double-dipped from the voodoo vat. Really kids, you don’t have to listen hard to start seeing mysterious puffs of smoke and feel an ethereal, Cajun presence in the room here.
“Magica” by Os Mutantes
Yes, I don’t know Portuguese. Yes, therefore the only reasons I have to believe that this Brazilian psych-pop group means to say anything about mystical practices or beings is through the harp tidal pools, ’60s throwback paisley sound (which everyone knows means clairvoyance) and the title’s extreme likening to the English word “magic.” Stick around for the strange but enchanting ode to the Stones during the last 30 seconds.
“Magic” by Pilot
Admittedly one of most recognizable songs from 1985 family-friendly films and paper towel commercials, the boys from this pyscho-synth outfit deliver a thoroughly encouraging yet ambiguous song in “Magic.” It’s unclear if they’re reassuring the very real “magic” of love or Santa Claus — either way, the tune goes down well with some magic potion, if you catch my drift.
“Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1)” by Yo La Tengo
“Hocus Pocus” taught us all that the power of magic includes the power to propel yourself and fly around your city, taking pity on all the minions unable to launch themselves airborne without the assistance of some fiberglass craft. Go ahead and take the lines, “I hear the whispers everywhere I go/ I hear the laughter everywhere I go,” as a sign of the Jersey band’s telepathy and the feedback as flying noises.
“Sorcerer” by Stevie Nicks
Nicks, of the late, great Fleetwood Mac, focuses on the sexy aspect of spellbinding society. “Sorcerer, show me the high life/ Come over, let me put you on ice,” only makes sense with Nicks’s signature vocal warble and absurd amounts of tambourines. Plus the woman writes all her stuff in her very own tower attached to her house. Jealous? Join the club.