Since the pop song was invented, its’ creators have often relied on a common and limited vocabulary in both lyrics and title (e.g., “love,” “baby,” and “yeah”). This is probably a smart tactic, introducing a new song by using a familiar sentiment; rarely does a song with a very strange name or lyrics gain public attention (although “Horse with No Name” and “Muskrat Love” spring to mind).
Keeping with this idea of a common lyrical vocabulary, I found 11 songs that all use the word “magic” in their titles. This word seems to have conjured up luck for these songwriters and performers; all 11 songs made it into the Billboard Magazine Top 20 charts.
- That Old Black Magic—Written by: Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer; recorded by: Glen Miller, 1943 (1# on Billboard); Margaret Whiting and the Freddie Slack Orchestra, 1943 (#10); Sammy Davis Jr., 1955 (#16); Louis Prima & Keely Smith, 1958 (#18)
- This Magic Moment—Written by: D. Pomus/M. Shuman; recorded by: The Drifters, 1960 (#14), available on the album The Very Best of the Drifters
- Puff the Magic Dragon—Peter, Paul & Mary, 1963 (#2), from the album Moving
- Do You Believe in Magic—Lovin’ Spoonful, 1965 (#9), from the album Do You Believe in Magic
- Magic Carpet Ride—Steppenwolf, 1968 (#5), from the album Steppenwolf the Second
- Black Magic Woman—Santana, 1970 (#5), available on the album Black Magic Woman
- Strange Magic—ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), 1976 (#14), from the album Ole’ ELO
- Magic—Olivia Newton-John, 1980 (#1), from the album Xanadu
- Every Little Thing She Does is Magic—The Police, 1981 (#3), from the album Ghost in the Machine
- You Can Do Magic—America, 1982 (#8), available on the album You Can Do Magic
- Magic—The Cars, 1984 (#12), from the album Heartbeat City
Plus one magic-related song…
- Abracadabra—Steve Miller Band, 1982 (#1), from the album Abracadabra