The song was published in 1942 and has become an often-recorded standard with versions that include the original single release by Glenn Miller, the singers Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mercer himself, and others. Mercer wrote the lyrics with Judy Garland in mind, who was, on occasion, an intimate partner.
Garland recorded the song for Decca Records in 1942. Mercer recalled wanting to write a song about magic, and while composing, asking Arlen to write more music so the song could go on longer, but that they still wrote the whole song in about three hours.
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, The 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.
You are the lover I have waited for, The mate that fate had me created for. And every time your lips meet mine, Baby, down and down I go, round and round I go, In a spin, loving the spin that I'm in, under that old black magic called love.
You are the lover that I've waited for, The mate that fate had me created for. And every time your lips meet mine, Baby, down and down I go, all around I go, In a spin, crazy about the spin I'm in, under that old black magic called love.