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Black Sabbath: Iron Man Meaning


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Song Released: 1970

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Iron Man Lyrics

I am iron man

Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all
Or if he moves will he fall?

Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
We'll just pass him there
Why should we even care?

He was turned...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Apr 8th 2006 report

    A man makes a time travel into the future of the world. He sees
    the apocalypse. When he comes back he tries to warn the world but
    nobody takes care of him. So he gets mad and has revenge on mankind.
    In the end it becomes clear that he is the reason for the apocalypse.
    "Ozzy came up with the title 'Iron Man' and I wrote it about this
    guy who's blasted off into space and he sees the future of the world, which
    isn't very good. Then he goes through a magnetic storm on the way back and
    is turned to iron. He's trying to warn everyone about the future of the
    world, but he can't speak, so everyone is taking the mickey out of him all
    the time, and he just doesn't care in the end." - Geezer
    The Iron Man's destruction of the people who ignore and mock him unwittingly
    fulfills his own vision.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 5th 2007 report

    The lyrics of the song, which may be metaphorical, describe the titular character. It is unsure if he is still in full possession of his faculties. He is largely ignored by those who pass him by, even though he had made the sacrifice of being turned to steel "when he traveled time for the future of mankind." As Iron Man stares at the world, he plots his revenge and then acts it out. The song indicates that Iron Man may have died and come back to life ("vengeance from the grave" and "Iron Man lives again"); at any rate, Iron Man has become fed up with the way he has been treated by those he served and begins to "kill the people he once saved."


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Oct 21st 2006 report

    Ozzy was a seventh day adventist as a child and was taught a lot about prophecy. Iron man is a twisted view of jesus christ. Jesus came as the lamb but will return as the lion as iron man kills the people he once saved. Is jesus live or dead? Why should we even care? Nobody cares if there is a jesus and in ozzy’s mind he’s sitting up there just waiting to come down and punish the world for not caring for him. Also in prophecy iron represents a very fierce and violent kingdom or country like rome.

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 13th 2023 report

    Pharyngospasm creates metal, though a devastating disease, the steel can usually support life. The victim, who once was dead, can rise again, a perfectionist, usually with some resolve to enjoy life, or end it, based on another's will for him.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 1st 2017 report

    The song is about an old grizzled war veteran who has turned cold and tough like iron due to the things he has seen. During his time at war he sees the true nature of man and determines that the future of man is nothing but war. After trying and trying to warn people to change their ways he finally snaps and goes into a murderous rampage which stood in great contrast to his cold nature, rising from the grave so to speak.

  6. madmick
    click a star to vote
    Mar 25th 2017 report

    What a great song. The music is timeless and catchy. And the lyrics, are bordering on genius, in my opinion – the varying views and interpretations on this site perhaps confirm this. On the surface, the meaning is obvious – a man who travels time and returns to earth turned into steel etc. But, the true greatness of this song is its ambiguity or lack of clarity (perhaps intentionally by the song writer). Because of this, I think there can be no definite explanation to the song’s deeper meaning – a classic characteristic of many great works of art.

    People on this site have talked about Jesus, The Bible, the burden of learning dark truths, war, loneliness, and many other ideas and interpretations. And all opinions could equally be right – another sign of a great art-work. Perhaps even the song writer himself isn’t fully aware of the totality of the song’s meaning. After all, I think I once read that even Bob Dylan expressed that he doesn’t fully understand his ideas or how they reach him.

    For me personally, to understand and appreciate this great song, the plot and specific details are not important. The song’s heart and soul resides within its feelings which are expressed in the song’s themes, metaphors and the music itself. Some of the lyrics of the song speak of: insanity, ignorance of the masses, death, destruction, the coldness and despair of loneliness, the anger and frustration of not being understood/believed and the good and evil which exists in mankind and the world. And despite mankind’s desire for goodness and potential to perform good acts, he is selfish, flawed and/or corrupted, therefore, damned to a universe of darkness, disappointments and despair. These weighty themes are reinforced by the powerfully dark rhythms and melody of the band. Or perhaps the music is reinforced by the lyrics? I did read somewhere that when Ozzy Osbourne first heard Tommy Iommi play the main riff of this song, Ozzy said it reminded him of a big man of steel walking about (or something like that), then Geezer Butler took that idea and put lyrics to it. Either way, the music and lyrics gel perfectly as one. Anyway, all I am certain of is that Black Sabbath’s Iron Man is a powerful song that resonates with many people, it has done so for decades and will probably speak to future generations.

    Thanks for reading.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2017 report

    This isn't about the Marvel Iron Man. I think this song is about a man who goes into the future and forsees an apocalypse! He comes back from the future, turning into "Iron Man", and tries to warn everyone about the future apocalypse! Nobody believes him, so he goes out on a sadistic rampage, only find out that HE caused the apocalypse!

  8. kooljohn176
    click a star to vote
    Dec 23rd 2015 report

    This ''Black SAbbath'' song reminds me of these Revelations told as by the beginning of this song told as ''I'am Iron Man'', dough told first to rise in long ago in what ''The Ion-Shape said: Be Still there is no Iron-Face'' to be afraid in him, but hundreds of years later it was passed on in another form to John Patmos being in ''The Spirit'' possession of God to write down his dream visions as ''warnings'' what's to come on the land to be written down that became the 27th book in the Bible as Revelation. In this, yes you can say that he saved many by traveling to the future and saw the end of times for the people and the 7 Churches throughout the land to spread the word of God in that if they don't obey and do the works in the name of Jesus Christ they will be destroyed. During that period of time people were saved by faith and fear to obey, but the world did not end for most of the people that did not believe in the prophesy of John Patmos. When, then a lot of people became unbelievers like in this song ''Iron Man'', where he is eventually getting his vengeance throughout time by the more people studied and believed in Revelation as the will of God to use in the name of Jesus Christ to bring on wars ever since, especially by the people that realized they been had by false Prophets to believe the end of times are coming that did not come according to Revelation in the Bible they used on them to believe. This made people more to dispute Revelation with each other that gave and gives Satan more power to use Revelation as a revenge against us the people to make us look pretty,be scared and to believe that the Apocalypse is coming again in today's time, just look what's been happening in the Middle East and some of the parts of Europe again.

  9. Ironmind
    click a star to vote
    Oct 16th 2013 report

    This is a song about you and me, never mind the superficial Jesus similarities . . . the similarities are there because it provides a cultural reference point, and also because the human condition has not really changed in over 2000 years.

    This is a story of a man who saw the truth (travelled time, religious vision, looked at the facts, whatever), and was transformed by the experience (the average human being can rarely stand to look at the truth, and rationalizes pursuing short-term gain/emotion above other more worthy goals). Unsurprisingly, the enlightened man no longer spoke the language of his peers, he was ignored and people didn't care about his sacrifice or his truth, preferring their own rationalizations to anything else. Eventually, the enlightened man saw that he would not be able to reach people with any act short of becoming a martyr, and even then, it would leave great numbers of willfully ignorant people without enlightenment. The transformed man eventually decided that the only way to save humanity from its self-inflicted fate was to intervene unilaterally and end the experiment - vengeance, revenge, judgment day, the final accounting, essentially disposing with pretense and getting right to the point. Knowing the truth about the future had hardened his heart and steeled his body against the pain of swimming against the tide in the short-term - he became invulnerable to emotion, powered-by-truth, and unstoppable.

    It is a story about how most people "turn their heads" to avoid any uncomfortable truth - and about how this act in itself can hasten the arrival of an even harsher dose of pain over the long run. It is also about how the truth can change people, and how not everyone can (or should) bear to hear it. Yes, it is a story about you and me.

    After hearing this song, we have no choice but to accept the uncomfortable dystopian reality of the human condition, as it repeats itself ad nauseam - from thousands of years ago, to thousands of years in the future. . . will we ever look to the truth and change our ways? Or are we doomed either way? Is it better to know the truth and be troubled by it, or to live ignorantly and unsustainably, blithely incurring a debt that we must eventually pay? Unfortunately, it seems that the answers still elude us . . . perhaps we should all be kinder to the courageous iron men who walk among us . . .

  10. anonymous
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    May 14th 2013 report

    It represents either the war scene because of the 70s and what was going on at that time or what they learned about the Manhattan Project and the Navy going through time and the people getting stuck in the iron of the Navy ship. They made numerous trips into the future and saw what was going to take place. This is based on true facts. This could also be about the cyborgs that are iron and some type of skin or plastic they are made of. A few tidbits their skin if you want to call it that absorbs water okay but other items not so well. Also, if your finger turns color from a metal ring it's because you have a cyborg in you. It's not because of the water and metal making a discoloration. It is literally from the cyborg's metal and your thin skin so it comes through. It is literally running the show and connected to your soul and your human brain. Anyways they are just like the Terminator and the mass production of them have already taken over mankind and are about to annihilate us. So we have pretty much had it but the good news is that I read somewhere in the bible that when Jesus returns with His Saints that they the NWO goes to war against Jesus but loses. And the soldiers somehow turn on each other. I was thinking about how that these cyborgs can be coded to do things so someone somehow codes it in for them to turn on each other in the end and they destroy each other. So Ironman in the end kills himself because the people see him as he is and gets rid of him by coding it into the cyborgs. But at that time it's over anyway. God will take care of mankind and what it's done and is doing to people and the earth. It's too bad that man wanted to improve so much in the war department that it learned to control and destroy mankind the very mankind it wanted to protect with the military weapons and people. Now we are all people controlled by the (matter to energy "invisible") cyborgs inside and the eventual destruction of us. The bible says God is going to have man play out what he wants and the leaders don't like the people the bible says so they destroy us. So I quess they got to big for there you know whats. Anyways there is one way out for everyone and that is to get saved. Because the real reason this has happened is because Satan wanted to be where God is which we are the temple and so He wanted to be inside a human which he succeeded in doing. These cyborgs took over the inside and now we are so called beheaded so were at the end. We have no control of what happens to us they have the control. Anyways my point was Satan wanted also to stop people from choosing God's saving grace which is Jesus Christ and what He has done on the cross for us all. So satan has succeeded in taking away free will but not forever only for the 1335 years and then it's over. These are true facts to the best of my knowledge but get saved. Pray: God in heaven I don't want satan or cyborgs to interfere with my choice of choosing Jesus today so please rebuke them. This is my decision my free will so I ask you please forgive me for everything I have done wrong in my life and I accept what Jesus did on the cross for me and Jesus please come into my heart and take over my life. I pray this all in Jesus name and thank you. Amen. There thats how you fight satan and ironman. Guess what you just won now no worries. Your free and are saved. Even though they are doing this if you know this truth what I have told you and believe in Jesus you can get saved. So for a moment there you have free will. After choosing you probably don't. They can let you but then they can interfere or just take right over. Well enough said didn't mean to make a book out of it. May God be with you all. What to do after getting saved stay faithful to Jesus and love God and one another. Stand strong in the Lord read God's word there is much strengh in the Lord.

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 25th 2012 report

    I lean toward the Crucifixion of Jesus. The nails used through his hands or wrists to secure his body to the cross were more than likely at that time made of - you guessed it...iron. Lead boots would put excruciating pressure on the body from a gravity field pulling it downward on the the cross causing suffocation. This would lead to a slow painful death. His return is mentioned in Revelations and it isn't pretty for some.

  12. anonymous
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    Jun 21st 2012 report

    Before I even read any of the interpretations on here, I knew it was a song about Christ. Iron Man refers to the crucifixes a certain denomination wears and prays the rosary. The reason I say that is because most crucifixes are metal, but nowadays the cheap bastards who make them are making them out of cheap pewter (still a metal) or just plain old flagrant cheap plastic. Pretty sorry and no respect for that denomination's beliefs. Now, onto what I think....as I said, I knew it was about Christ all along, ever since I first heard the song back in the early '80's. I mean, who else can travel time, or stare at the entire world all at once? Mankind has worshiped him for a very long time, but nowadays, we are like..."who cares?"...and He is getting madder and madder each day, until the day His Father is going to say... "Okay, enough's enough, go my Son, and show them I ain't playing around no more!"...and then we gonna be running and fearing for our very lives, but by that time, it's gonna be too late.

  13. anonymous
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    May 31st 2012 report

    My interpretation of the song was that they were talking about a soldier who came back from Vietnam. The soldiers who went to Vietnam were outcasted by society for ate awful thing they did there. "iron man" must have been a young guy who was considered a war hero in Korea and when he came back from Vietnam he was rejected by society so he goes crazy and commits a mass homicide.

  14. anonymous
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    Nov 1st 2011 report

    The lyrics concern a champion of humanity who travels Time, presumably to ensure "the future of Mankind" — his original mission was to save our species. We learn that this champion unfortunately encountered a "Great Magnetic Field," turning him into steel and rendering him immobile. He has been in this state for so long that humanity has forgotten his original identity and his original mission. Rather than hailing him as a hero, the human race now regards him as an oddity, little more than an enigmatic statue from another age. The first few lines of the song are the musings of curious passersby, wondering if he's alive or dead, if he can see, if he can move, etc. Although the exact nature of his transformation is not elucidated, we know that Iron Man is not solid steel, but is in perhaps an organic/inorganic state, in which he can still perceive the physical world and can still think, but cannot take action. Because humanity has forgotten everything he's done for them in the past, Iron Man has grown increasingly bitter and plans his vengeance upon the ungrateful human race. Evidently, his bizarre state of suspended animation is only temporary — when Iron Man regains his freedom to move, he "kills the people he once saved" in a dreadful manner.

  15. anonymous
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    Aug 11th 2011 report

    How can someone be made of iron? Wouldn't they be really heavy? Listen to the lyrics, you'll hear it

  16. anonymous
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    May 16th 2011 report

    to me this song is one of the best and most fascinating songs ever.my explanation is that a traveling man accidently sees the worlds future,of mindless murder and warns everyone.everyone ignores him.he tried to save them.then he angrily kills them for ignoring him.he then realizes this is the prophecy come true and it was his fault and he needs to find the answer.thanks 4 reading this.

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 16th 2011 report

    to me this song is one of the best and most fascinating songs ever.my explanation is that a traveling man accidently sees the worlds future,of mindless murder and warns everyone.everyone ignores him.he tried to save them.then he angrily kills them for ignoring him.he then realizes this is the prophecy come true and it was his fault and he needs to find the answer.thanks 4 reading this.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 16th 2011 report

    to me this song is one of the best and most fascinating songs ever.my explanation is that a traveling man accidently sees the worlds future,of mindless murder and warns everyone.everyone ignores him.he tried to save them.then he angrily kills them for ignoring him.he then realizes this is the prophecy come true and it was his fault and he needs to find the answer.thanks 4 reading this.

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