Gen’rals gathered in their masses,
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction,
Sorcerer of death’s construction
In the fields the bodies burning,
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind,
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh Lord yeah
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role for the poor, yeah
Time will tell on their power minds,
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess,
Wait ’till their judgement day comes, yeah
Now in darkness world stops turning,
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more War Pigs have the power,
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees the war pigs crawling,
Begging mercies for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
Oh Lord yeah
(Overheard this song coming from a delivery truck when I was walking around downtown Denver on Sunday, July 5, 2020. The guy wasn’t playing it especially loud but the town was unusually quiet. The song served to underline this, as opposed to adding to the usual urban cacophony. Happily, I’m a Black Sabbath fan. I think this is the first time I’ve read these lyrics in a while.)
“I feel so privileged to have been on this planet when the Beatles were born,” says Ozzy. “They are and will forever be the greatest band in the world. I remember talking to Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. He said, ‘I didn’t like the Beatles.’ I said, ‘there’s something fucking wrong with you.'”
She Loves You – 1963
This is the one that sucked me in. I was a 14-year-old kid with this blue transistor radio. I heard “She Loves You,” and it floored me. It was as if you knew all the colors in the world. Then someone shows you a brand new color, and you go, “Fucking hell, man.”
I want to Hold Your Hand – 1963
I am the Walrus – 1967
Lennon and McCartney were like sweet and sour. Paul would be the guy who said, “It’s getting better all the time.” John would say, “It couldn’t get much worse.” I loved Lennon’s plays on words. I love any song where you can go, “I don’t know what that means,” but you understand it anyway.
A Day in the Life – 1967
Hey Jude – 1968
Help – 1965
When I hear this, I hear Lennon thinking, “You can’t get bigger than big.” But they did. They got beyond massive. And he just goes, “Help!” because they don’t know what they’ve done. They only know how they did it.
Eleanor Rigby – 1966
“Eleanor Rigby” is fucking phenomenal. I don’t know why. I just know that every time I heard something from the Beatles, it made me feel better that day.
Something – 1969
Black Sabbath were doing a residency in a bar in Zurich. It was winter and we were driving in the van to get home for Christmas. We were homesick and had no money, one cigarette between the four of us. This song reminds me of that time, because we kept hearing it as we were going over the Alps.
Strawberry Fields Forever – 1967
I used to work in a slaughterhouse, and across the road was a meat-pie shop, and this was on the radio there all the time.
The Long and Winding Road – 1970
“It reminds me of winter in England. It’s cold, you’ve got fingerless gloves on. And it makes me sad, because it’s the end of the greatest movie I’d ever seen. You hear Paul going, ‘I’m out of steam. I can’t do this anymore.'”
Backstage before the gig I stood outside talking to Paul McCartney and some other people. It was great, but there were all these signs saying ‘No Drinking’, ‘No Swearing’, no this, no that. That terrified Ozzy more than anything, because with him everything is fucking this and fucking that, so he was practising not swearing. He walked up and down in the dressing room going: ‘Raise your hands, come on, raise your hands . . .’ instead of his normal: ‘Raise your fucking hand, you fuckers!’ I thought, no way he’s going to keep that up! But he did.