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"Love Potion No. 9" is a song written in 1959 by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally performed by The Clovers, who took it to #23 on the US charts that year. On the R&B chart, The Clovers version also peaked at #23.
The song describes a man seeking help to find love, so he talks to a Gypsy who determines, by means of palmistry, that he needs "love potion number 9". The potion causes him to fall in love with everything he sees, kissing whatever is in front of him, eventually kissing a policeman on the street-corner, who breaks his bottle of love potion.
In one recorded version of the ending of the song, The Clovers used the alternative lyrics:
- "I had so much fun that I'm going back again,
- I wonder what a-happen with Love Potion Number Ten?"
The "kissing a cop" lyric led to the song being banned by some radio stations. The lyrics also have the narrator describe himself as being "a flop with chicks since 1956"; later recordings of the song have often changed the year to suit the year of recording or the age of the performer. A notable exception is the Australian alternative rock band Tlot Tlot's recording, which leaves the year in the song as 1956. It also uses the alternative Love Potion No. 10 lyrics.
- Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (1963)
- The Searchers (1963), a U.S. #3 hit in 1965
- Ronnie Dio and the Prophets (1964)
- The Tony Jackson Group (1965)
- Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (1965)
- The Ventures (February 1965)
- Nancy Sit (1967)
- The Coasters (1971)
- Elkie Brooks (1976)
- Hurriganes (1978)
- Inga Rumpf (1979)
- Genral Foodz (1980)
- Lee Towers (1981, a minor hit in the Netherlands)
- The Nylons (1982)
- Tygers of Pan Tang (1982)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (1988)
- Beau Nasty (1989)
- Southern All Stars (1990)
- Tlot Tlot (1992)
- Carole Davis (film Love Potion No. 9 end-titles song, arranged by James Wilson and J. Rodgers) (1992)
- Neil Diamond (1993)
- The White Stripes (1997)
- Robert Plant (2008)
- Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters (2009) (Italy)
- The Alley Cats
- Flotsam and Jetsam
- Gary Lewis & the Playboys
- 3G JAM starring George H Benson
- Hard Road starring Art Murphy (1976)
- Melodic Hard Rock band TEN featured the lyric on their song "Black Hearted Woman" on their 2000 album Babylon.
- The recording by the Clovers features in the film American Graffiti (1973).
- Nurse Haleh Adams (played by actress Yvette Freeman) sings the song at a party, in the third season of the TV series E.R. (1996–97).
- It was featured in the movie of the same name.
- It also appeared in the musical Smokey Joe's Cafe.
- As a pop-culture reference, it is found in the animated film, Shrek 2. The bottle of love potion that the Fairy Godmother gives to the King of Far Far Away has IX (the number nine in Roman numerals) on the side of it.
- The Sims game series features a "Love Potion 8.5", that is probably a reference to both this song and the movie.
- One episode of LazyTown used this song for when the "Evil Dude" makes a love potion for Stephanie so that she'll fall in love with him.
- One of the books in Dav Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series features a reference to "Hate Potion #9".
- The 8th edition rules of the live action role playing game NERO features a "Love Potion #9" that can be created with the game skill Alchemy.
- In a season 1 episode of Fraggle Rock The Trash Heap gives Wembley a bottle of Love Potion #9, which causes everyone who smells it to fall in love with him.
- The Cyndi Lauper song "I'll Kiss You" mentions love potion number 8 being a failure, but number 9 succeeds. The song also makes other references to "Love Potion #9", including the gypsy and the street corner.
- It was performed by American Idol contestant James Durbin during Season 10 of the reality show.
- The song "Poetry in Motion" performed by Johnny Tillotson references the "number 9 love potion".
- King Julien performed this song in the 2013 direct-to-video Valentine's Day special Madly Madagascar.
- There is a Rick and Morty episode titled Rick Potion No. 9 which is about using a potion on a girl to attract her.
- The Capitol Steps did a parody called "Polonium-209", which referred to the alleged murder of Alexander Litvinenko using the aforementioned element.
- Xhol Caravan recorded a version in 1970 retitled "Love Potion 25" with the lyrics now referring to LSD.
- Paul Shanklin did a parody called "Love Client No. 9" about the former Democrat governor of New York Eliot Spitzer and his alias in the prostitution scandal that led to Spitzer's removal from office.