Meaning of Paranoid by Black Sabbath & Song Story

The legendary song Paranoid by Black Sabbath was written in less than half an hour, and became a heavy metal classic. It had a significant impact on the development of the entire genre and was included in various authoritative ratings of the greatest compositions.

Against the background of such significant achievements, the story of the creation of the Paranoid track seems even more surprising, once again proving that sometimes a lot depends on chance.

Paranoid – Black Sabbath Song History

It’s hard to believe, but Paranoid might not have been born at all if the rest of the tracks on the second Black Sabbath album were a little longer. And so the guys urgently needed to come up with something to “finish” the record, which they planned to call War Pigs.

Then everything happened very quickly. Everyone went to eat. Tony Iommi was left alone in the studio and quickly composed a simple riff. Terry “Geezer” Butler, upon hearing it, quickly wrote the lyrics, gave it to Ozzy Osbourne and picked up the bass guitar. Billy Ward sat down at the kit and began to set the pace. Ozzy had no choice but to sing from a piece of paper. In about twenty-five minutes Paranoid was ready in the form we all know.

The name Paranoid was coined by Butler, although he and other members of Black Sabbath claimed that they did not really understand the meaning of the word. That is why, as Geezer himself admitted, the text has nothing to do with him. This is a monologue of a mentally unbalanced person who is not happy with anything in life.

Release and achievements

The members of Black Sabbath took it all as a funny joke, but their producer Roger Bain convinced them to immediately record the song. The decision to make Paranoid the album’s title track and give it the same name was taken by the bosses of Vertigo Records. Some time later, Paranoid was released as a single, which reached number four on the UK Singles Chart. Subsequently, Black Sabbath constantly performed Paranoid at concerts, and after the group’s breakup, the song entered Ozzy Osbourne’s repertoire.

Paranoid is included in many popular ratings, including:

  • 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone)
  • 40 Greatest Metal Songs Ever (VH1),
  • greatest hard rock songs of all time (VH1).

Clip Paranoid Black Sabbath

Let’s watch the Paranoid music video.

Interesting Facts

  • Tony Iommi recorded the album Paranoid with a black eye that he got in a fight with punks.
  • In 2002, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Pino Palladino and Phil Collins played Paranoid at the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

Paranoid Black Sabbath Lyrics

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,
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,
Can you help me occupy my brain?
Oh yeah

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,
Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry,
Happiness I cannot feel and love to me us so unreal
And so as you heard these words telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life I wish I could but it’s too late

Paranoid Black Sabbath Lyrics

Broke up with my woman because she couldn’t help me deal with my mind
People think I’m crazy cause I frown all the time
All day long I think about something, but nothing makes me happy
I think I’ll go crazy if I don’t find something to calm me down
Can you help me keep my mind busy?
Oh yeah

I need someone to show me in life what I can’t find
I don’t understand what causes true happiness, I must be blind
Make a joke – and I will yawn from boredom, you will laugh – I will burst into tears
I don’t feel happy and love is so unreal for me
And as you hear these words describing my condition to you,
I tell you to enjoy life, I would like to myself, but it’s too late

Song quote

I found it too light compared to our other songs like Hand of Doom… I thought it was almost a pop song.

Billy Ward

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