Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Song Meaning: Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Artist: Black Sabbath| Album: Paranoid | Released: 1970
Song Meaning: Paranoid by Black Sabbath
Paranoid is the title track of the second Black Sabbath album
A classic heavy metal song by a band that pioneered heavy metal in the 70's, "Paranoid" perfectly defines the themes of a true heavy metal song: death, depression, daemons, and darkness. The single was a hit on rock radio. It was facilitated on the back of the escalating Vietnam War; many people related the heartbreaking news stories of the war to the paranoia described in the lyrics.

As the title suggests, the song is about a lonely paranoid person. The lyrics are as direct as it gets, and I don't need to over analyze it. But there are a couple of noteworthy things to talk about. The song is written in the first person's point of view. The band describes the inception of the song as follows: "The song "Paranoid" was written as an afterthought. We basically needed a 3 minute filler for the album, and Tony came up with the riff. I quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was reading them as he was singing." It's hard to suggest if band members actually put forward their person experiences into lyrics, as it's the case with many other songs, however the main theme of the song coincide with the themes of other Black Sabbath songs.  It was pretty much in their wheelhouse.

The song is known for lacking a proper chorus. Fade to Black by Metallica ( released in 1983) also follows a similar structure to this song, though it has two guitar solos in place of the chorus. Its lyrics also has similar themes to Paranoid.

Sometimes the last minute songs written with lack of thought emerge as the best in the long run! That's what I make of the song. Let me know if I miss something. Rating and commenting is appreciated.

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 is so unreal

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

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