Friday, September 18, 2009

"I need someone to show me the things in life that I can't find"

I absolutely loved this article by Walter Gatti for Il Sussidiario, which translates Paranoid by Black Sabbath. A while back over on Facebook my friend Fred made reference to Sabbath's album Paranoid. It conjured up memories of laying on my friend's bedroom floor, staring at the ceiling, and listening to this album in its entirety, both sides in those days! While they're correctly categorized as heavy metal, Sabbath, as well as Ozzy when he went solo, had something more. I think this band from Birmingham is far more influential than most are willing to admit.

Mr. Gatti included this version, from Ozzy sans Iommi, Butler, and Ward. It just rocks.... Ozzy has a hell of a band with Zakk Wylde, Robert Trujillo, and Mike Bordin!

"All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy."

A 1992 New York Times article refers to the time when New York archbishop John Cardinal O'Connor called him a Satanist in a homily delivered in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Ozzy's response was:

"Unbeknownst to Cardinal O'Connor, I am not the Antichrist, I am a family man."

In this same article, author Nick Ravo writes: "Devil-worshipers may be chagrined to learn that Ozzy, a member of the Church of England, kneels and prays backstage just before going on; he makes the sign of the cross, too." This only shows that the church must engage culture at all levels, not dismissing those who fall outside of our own carefully constructed view of things, thus denying their humanity. After all, the issues and questions of human existence are perennial and universal.

Of course, it was also Ozzy who said in an interview after he cleaned up and was trying to stay sober "Sobriety sucks." There are people to whom that will seem silly or outrageous, there are others, even many who are now sober and clean, who can relate either by saying Amen, or remembering what it was like starting to face up to existence sober. To say that it is hard doesn't even begin to do justice to the difficult passage from dependence to sobriety. I remember a slogan from younger days: Reality is for people who can't handle drugs. Let's return to Paranoid, the lyrics that describe some of the anguish that leads some to turn to what Ozzy described in a later, very controversial song from his solo career, the "suicide solution": "Happiness I cannot feel and love to me is so unreal."

As Ozzy says at the end of the song "...God bless you all, stay safe!"


  1. I say Amen. I'd never known all the words to this song until now. All I can say is: Wow! Wish I knew Italian so I could read the article you posted. :)

  2. Hello.

    Someone show me your post; i'm Walter Gatti, the editor of the article about "Paranoid".

    I like your comment. Think that very often the heart of the man beat under his disguise and apparence.

    TAMI: if you want some translation, i could try. But perhaps Scott Dodge could help you...

    God bless you all

  3. Hey, Walter thanks for dropping a note. I was really moved by your short article and video. I'll be happy to assist with a translation for Tami.