Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Get out your pointy hats and broomsticks, we're off on a witch hunt. No, this isn't like that thing in Salem you learned about in history class. We're only hunting for some top notch witch songs. From magical potions to wicked sorcery, witchcraft has inspired an impressive catalog of tunes. So hold the eye of newt and prepare for UCR's list of the Top 10 Witch Songs!
From: 'Moving Pictures' (1980)
Our list of the Top 10 Witch Songs begins with this exceptionally moody Rush number, one of the great songs that make up the classic Moving Pictures album. An eerie intro leads into a jagged guitar riff courtesy of Alex Lifeson, and we're off. The song is more about the evils of a closed mind as opposed to any sorcery, which is ultimately far more evil. An interesting footnote to the song, it was recorded the same night that John Lennon was killed.
From: 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' (1988)
The opening track of Iron Maiden's seventh studio album draws its title and lyrical inspiration from a book written by infamous occultist Aleister Crowley back in 1917. The story finds good and evil magicians battling over the fate of an unborn child. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page was also highly interested in Crowley's work, and we'll hear about the magician again later in this list.
"Crimson Witch"The Moving Sidewalks
From: 'Flash' (1968)
Before he came to worldwide fame as the singer and guitarist for ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons fronted the more psychdelic-leaning Moving Sidewalks. This song finds him under the spell of a particularly haunting woman... and from the sounds of things, quite possibly some very trippy pharmaceuticals as well.
"Wicked Old Witch"John Fogerty
From: 'Deja Vu All Over Again' (2004)
John Fogerty sings of "Creatures, goblins, spooks all around" on this rocker from his 2004 album, Deja Vu All Over Again. The song is trademark Fogerty, powered by another in a seemingly endless stream of classic riffs. The groove is as wicked as the witch herself, and we certainly don't wish to run into the "Shriveled old lady with the tombstone mouth scarring up trouble at the haunted house."
"Black Magic Woman"Santana
From: 'Abraxas' (1970)
Written by Peter Green and originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1968, "Black Magic Woman" would be taken under the mighty wings of Santana, and made a worldwide smash in 1970 as part of their amazing Abraxas album. On the strength of Carlos Santana's blistering guitar, the minor-key blues reached the top five, while the LP shot to No. 1.
From: 'Fleetwood Mac' (1975)
"She is like a cat in the dark and then she is the darkness." Though not a witch by name, the legend of "Rhiannon," according to Miss Stevie Nicks, clearly states, "This is a song about an old Welsh witch." We aren't about to argue with Stevie on this one. We will, however, bask in its warm glow as one of Fleetwood Mac's timeless classics. We've given you a killer live rendition here, complete with witchy intro.
From: 'Eagles' (1972)
Ooooh, oooh...witchaay woman. We probably all know a creature with "raven hair and ruby lips" and chances are, "she's a restless spirit on an endless flight." This Eagles classic has never left the radio airwaves since it was first unleashed back in 1972 and was a must have for our Top 10 Witch Songs list. A Top 10 single from the band's debut album, "Witchy Woman" was their second straight smash right out of the gate.
"Mr. Crowley"Ozzy Osbourne
From: 'Blizzard of Ozz' (1980)
As we said earlier, Crowley surfaces again, only this time out, none other than Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness himself, is asking the famous mystic simple but pointed questions, such as "What went on in your head? Did you talk to the dead?" Ultimately, Ozzy declares the magician's life to be tragic: "You fooled all the people with magic / You waited on Satan's call."
"The Witch's Promise"Jethro Tull
From: 'Benefit' (1970)
The first half dozen or so albums from Jethro Tull are all pretty incredible, and Benefit is no exception. "The Witch's Promise" is one of many pearls to be found on that LP. Driving acoustic guitar, swirling mellotron and trademark flute and vocal form Ian Anderson meld together in this haunting tale of temptation. "The witch's promise was coming / You're looking elsewhere for your own selfish gain." Released as a single in the U.K. in the spring of 1970, it hit No. 4 on the charts.
"Season of the Witch"Donovan
From: 'Sunshine Superman' (1966)
Our pick for the No. 1 spot on our list of Top 10 Witch songs is by none other than Donovan. The word "classic" gets tossed around an awful lot, but in this case, it's truly apropos. From his legendary 1966 album Sunshine Superman, "Season of the Witch" evokes the haunting mystery of the fall season. It's simple yet powerful riff transports and hypnotizes the listener. It's been covered by everyone from Al Kooper and Stephen Stills to Vanilla Fudge and Lou Rawls, but the original is still the real deal.