BLACK SABBATH – “Paranoid”


This song by Black Sabbath is consistently ranked as one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time. Maybe the biggest hit of Ozzy’s group, along with “Iron Man.”

The lyrics were written by and about bassist Geezer Butler, whom the band often called paranoid, even though he didn’t know what the word meant. They are about Butler’s feelings as a depressed teenager and him thinking he was going insane.

According to the band, the song only took 20 minutes to write. It was supposed to be just a filler song and the album was supposed to be called War Pigs. When they released it as a single and it got very popular, however, the record label wanted them to name the album Paranoid.

“Paranoid” was Black Sabbath’s first self-penned single release. It was much more successful than their previous cover of Crow’s “Evil Woman Don’t Play Your Games With Me.”

“Paranoid” has become a mainstay of the story of Heavy Metal’s history, and one of the genre’s most important songs that changed music.

Black Sabbath filmed a music video for “Paranoid” in Belgium 1970

 

 

Black Sabbath – Paranoid Lyrics

[Intro]

[Verse 1]
Finished with my woman
‘Cause she couldn’t help me with my mind
People think I’m insane
Because I am frowning all the time

[Verse 2]
All day long I think of things
But nothing seems to satisfy
Think I’ll lose my mind
If I don’t find something to pacify

[Bridge]
Can you help me
Occupy my brain?
Oh yeah

[Verse 3]
I need someone to show me
The things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness
I must be blind

[Guitar Solo]

[Verse 4]
Make a joke and I will sigh
And you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel
And love to me is so unreal

[Verse 5]
And so, as you hear these words
Telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life
I wish I could but it’s too late

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the song and explore its deeper meaning

Tommy Iommi:

I started fiddling about on the guitar and came up with this riff. When the others came back [from lunch], we recorded it on the spot.

Geezer Butler:

Basically, it’s just about depression, because I didn’t really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It’s a drug thing; when you’re smoking a joint you get totally paranoid about people, you can’t relate to people. There’s that crossover between the paranoia you get when you’re smoking dope and the depression afterwards.

“Paranoid” by Black Sabbath was produced by Rodger Bain.

 


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