Play the Song! The story and resurgence behind the Orlando Magic's iconic theme song

The Orlando Magic's original theme song has made a revival, getting a renewed push and a fresh remix as the team makes a push to return to the Playoffs.

Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The Orlando Magic had dusted off the New York Knicks last Wednesday to head into the All-Star Break. The team was celebrating and coming off the floor as the Magic's entertainment staff piled on.

Emblazoned on a giant handheld screen were three innocent words, "Play the Song."

Those words would be rattling around All-Star guard Jalen Brunson's ears for much of the rest of the evening. The song they would play would last long after the Knicks left the building. That song has sunk its grip onto the wider Internet world.

The old Orlando Magic Theme Song has successfully made its comeback. A fresh coat of paint and a remix from Ayo the Producer has given the Magic their own closing moniker and their own viral hit.

While it has always been a fan favorite for the Magic faithful, the "Orlando Magic Theme Song" has overtaken the NBA world this season.

After each win in the 2024 campaign, the Magic's social media team posts the score of the game with a different edited clip with the catchy sound bite bumping in the background. 

The trend has become so popular that even some fans of rival teams cannot help but nod their head in approval as the song plays.

Even more impressive is that the song has transcended the sports world and been mentioned through other media channels such as famous video gamer and Twitch streamer Ninja, as seen below discussing his affinity for the tune:

This piece of Magic culture has found some new life.

But what is the story behind the song? When and where was it created? And how has it become such a hit?

The "Orlando Magic Theme Song" goes back as far as the Magic itself.

Written by Glen Gettings in a studio in Ocoee, the song was used from 1989-94 (the first five years of the Magic’s existence) during in-game entertainment segments and team intros during pregame.

The song was unique to Orlando and Magic fans as it was made with the intention of being the team's official anthem. It was an anthem for a fanbase and a small market just dipping its toes into professional sports for the first time in the city's history.

It was even available for purchase on CD for fans who wanted their own copy.

While it mostly fell into obscurity once it was not regularly played during home games anymore, the anthem started to make a resurgence during the 2019 season, which was also the 30th Anniversary of the Orlando Magic.

This was when fans were craving nostalgia for the old Magic jerseys, and logos were higher than ever as the team returned to the Playoffs for the first time in seven years.

Among longtime fans, passion for the song never disappeared.

A couple of years later, in November 2021, Ringer NFL writer and Boone High School alum Kevin Clark posted a clip of the original Orlando Magic Theme Song from the team's first game and introductions. He discussed his disappointment that fans and the organization had forgotten and underappreciated this piece of franchise culture.

On that day, the Internet did what the Internet can do. A simple post about a team-specific song from more than two decades prior had gone viral.

And who took notice? None other than the Orlando Magic twitter page.

The Magic tweeted that if they got 1,000 retweets, they would play the song during the intro of the following home game. It only took 13 minutes, and the post exceeded its goal.

It became a brief thing for the Magic and their fans. The team added a highlight package of historical Magic moments set to the theme song as part of its pregame rotation leading to the end of pregame warmups.

Since that exchange, the "Orlando Magic Theme Song" has become a fixture in the fanbase again. The team has doubled down on it, creating a remixed version with a more modern beat to play to celebrate wins.

While the return of other desired retro elements of the franchise, like jerseys and logos, may be limited or delayed due to the NBA's rules about legacy jerseys and marks only being used during anniversary seasons, it is safe to say that the "Orlando Magic Theme Song" will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

It is no accident that in a year the Magic are making a playoff push and have been a consistent fixture in the Eastern Conference standings, the song has soared to new heights of popularity. More wins mean more opportunities to play it and more exposure to NBA fans who may not be Magic fans.

Somehow, the vintage sound mixed with the young, exciting team and the invigorated hope of the fans has created the perfect vibe and anthem all over again 35 years later. It has made an earworm nobody can get enough of.

The song has found a new life.

The words “Play the Song” have become the unofficial victory cry for the Magic and their fans this season because, with every win Orlando stacks up, basketball fans everywhere know what’s coming next…

“Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic, woooOOoAAaaaahHHHAHhhHH!!!”