Peace and Love on a Black Sabbath Record
by Jody Haskins For The Laguna Spectator
August 10, 2016
The Black Sabbath record ‘Paranoid’ is their biggest selling record to date. Remembered as a heavy metal classic because of classic songs as ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Iron Man’. Beneath the metal, this Black Sabbath record contains a strong anti war statement.
Starting with ‘War Pigs’ the band goes after the establishment pigs with ruthless abandon. Black Sabbath comparing the Army Generals to Witches at Black Masses. Later they go on to curse the coward politicians that started the war. Ozzy asks “Why should they go out and fight? They leave that all to the poor.” There is a prophetic lyric that is as relevant today as it was then. Sabbath accuse the establishment pigs of treating people like pawns in chess and waging war just for fun.
Later on ‘Electric Funeral‘ Black Sabbath preaches about the danger of nuclear war. Going in to graphic detail to describe the state of the post nuclear world.
Atomic graves with plastic flowers and a fading sun. A dying world of radiation, victims of man’s frustration. Burning globe of obscene fire like electric funeral pyre.
Black Sabbath Records Were Forged In A Funeral Pyre
All the members of the original Black Sabbath grew up in Birmingham, England in the forties and fifties. They witnessed their home country being bombed by the Nazis. That is their historical and philosophical reference point.
‘Iron Man’ is a heavy metal classic that was written by Black Sabbath’s bass player and main lyricist Terry ‘Geezer’ Butler. This is the story of a man who travels into the future and sees the apocalypse. While returning to the present, a magnetic field turns him into iron. The time traveler is rendered mute and when he arrives everybody fears him. The people Iron Man is trying to warn try to destroy him.
‘Hand of Doom’ is about soldiers returning home from the Vietnam War addicted to heroin. Just one more unintended consequence of waging war for profit.
Pick up the Black Sabbath record Paranoid and rediscover the spirit of the anti-war movement. Beneath the metal Black Sabbath were really just peaceful hippies.