That Old Black Magic

that old black magic
Composer Harold Arlen
Lyricist Johnny Mercer
Year Written 1942
About That Old Black Magic
One of the great songs by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, “That Old Black Magic” was written in 1942 and first recorded by Glenn Miller. It was also used in the 1942 movie Star Spangled Rhythm. It’s been recorded many times and used in several films, including the 1956 film Bus Stop, where it was sung by Marilyn Monroe.


That old black magic has me in its spell,
that old black magic that you weave so well.
Those icy fingers up and down my spine,
That same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine.
The same old tingle that I feel inside,
and then that elevator starts its ride,
And down and down I go,
round and round I go,
like a leaf that’s caught in the tide.

I should stay away,
but what can I do?
I hear your name and I’m aflame,
Aflame with such a burning desire that only your kiss can put out the fire.
For you’re the lover I have waited for,
the mate that fate had me created for.
And every time your lips meet mine, darling,
down and down I go, round and round I go,
In a spin, loving the spin I’m in,
under that old black magic called love.

Session / Album Information


“That Old Black Magic” was recorded on March 13, 1962 for On The Glory Road, which was to be released in 1962, but was canceled. The song was arranged by Ralph Sharon.

This recording released on:

  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8613 — On The Glory Road (release canceled)
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 1813 — On The Glory Road (release canceled)
  • Columbia Special Products LP 12″: XTV 86355 — Music From The Late Show
  • 2011: Disc #22 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK22) On the Glory Road


“That Old Black Magic” was recorded live at Tony Bennett’s concert at Carnegie Hall on June 9, 1962, but was not released until 1997 on the album Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall: Complete Concert. Ralph Sharon arranged the song.

This recording released on:

  • 1997: Columbia CD: C2K 64609 — At Carnegie Hall June 9, 1962: Complete Concert
  • 2011: Disc #24 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK24) Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall


“That Old Black Magic” was recorded on August 28, 1962 and released in 2013 on the album Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962. This number was from an unrehearsed improv set with the Dave Brubeck Trio.

This recording released on:

  • 1971: Columbia LP 12″: C 30522 — Dave Brubeck Summit Sessions
  • 1990: Columbia House Music Collection CD: C22 8015 — The Great American Composers: Harold Arlen
  • 2005: Columbia CD: 94299 — Jazz Moods: Cool
  • 2007: Sony Music CD: 715320 — Sings the Ultimate American Songbook, Vol. 1
  • 2011: Disc #1 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK1) Rarities, Outtakes & Other Delights, Volume 1
  • 2013: Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962 (88883718042)

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