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Black Sabbath, ‘God is Dead?’ – Lyrics Uncovered

Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

‘God Is Dead?,’ the lead single from Black Sabbath’s forthcoming reunion project ’13,’ includes some of Ozzy Osbourne’s most probing — and topical — lyrics to date. He drills deep into questions about God’s place in the order of things as troubled times give way to terror attacks in the name of religion.

Osbourne, in a talk with the BCC’s Zane Lowe, says the idea sprung from the cover of a magazine that announced, “God Is Dead.”

“I suddenly thought about 9/11 and all these terrorist things and religion and how many people have died in the name of religion,” Osbourne said. “When you think about the tragedy that’s happened throughout time, it just came in my head. You’d think by now that their God would have stopped people dying in the name of, so I just starting thinking that people must be thinking, ‘Where is God? God is dead’ — and it just hit me.”

Black Sabbath released the track, part of its first full-length album project with Osbourne since 1978, last week — just as the nation was coming to terms with another senseless attack, this time at the Boston Marathon. That only served to add another layer of chilling resonance to lyrics like these: “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide / Wondering if we will meet again on the other side / Do you believe a word of what the good book says / Or is it just a holy fairy tale / And God is dead?”

It’s notable that both in those lines, and in the song’s title itself, Osbourne offers only the question, rather than the kind of definitive statement found within the cover story which inspired him.

“At the end of the thing,” Osbourne says, “there’s still a bit of hope — because there I sing that I don’t believe that God is dead. It’s just a question of when you see so many dreadful people killing each other with bombs, and blowing the tube trains up and the World Trade Center.”

Next: Top 10 Black Sabbath Songs

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