“Paranoid” is a song by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in 1970 off the band’s second studio album Paranoid (1970). It is the first single from the album, while the B-side is the song “The Wizard”. It reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
It was the first Black Sabbath single release, coming six months after their self-titled debut was released. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler (from Guitar World magazine, March 2004):
A lot of the Paranoid album was written around the time of our first album, Black Sabbath. We recorded the whole thing in about 2 or 3 days, live in the studio. 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.
Written off by critics as horror trash from ‘unskilled labourers’, Sabbath’s masterpiece album took beaten-down listeners on a rollercoaster out of their struggles.
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?
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
Songwriters: Michael Butler / Ozzy Osbourne / Tony Iommi / William Ward