Creative Team Building and Leadership Resources - In our Elements

Flying to the Land of Ozzy

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

This week’s Free Ride* reflects on the music of the quintessential madman himself, Ozzy Osbourne, who turns 63 today. From heavy metal to reality tv, he has exercised his freedom in some truly outlandish ways, even by the standards of the crazed culture of rock and roll. For some lyrics that speak to his understanding of freedom, we can pull two songs, one from his Black Sabbath days and one from his solo era.

Into the Void is one of the more popular Black Sabbath songs, and has been covered by numerous bands, from the Melvins and Kyuss to Soundgarden, who substituted a famous speech from Chief Seattle for the original lyrics. Those original words speak of a world that has gone wrong, with pollution, violence, and hate leaving the idealist only one option to find true freedom – fire up the rocket engines and fly off in search of another world. Not one to pay attention to lyrics all that much, I have to say it surprised me to hear Ozzy belting out this kind of preachy protest song that, with an acoustic guitar and stand-up bass backing it, would be right at home at any folk festival.

Freedom fighters sent out to the sun
Escape from brainwashed minds and pollution
Leave the earth to all it’s sin and hate
Find another world where freedom waits

For Ozzy’s solo contribution to the songbook of freedom, we turn to one of his better known hits, Over the Mountain. It is the lead track on Diary of a Madman, the last project featuring the phenomenal guitar work of the late Randy Rhoads. The theme is similar to the earlier song, a dream of escape.

Over the mountains take me across the sky
Something in my visions, something deep inside

Where did I wander, where do ya think I wander to

I’ve seen life’s magic astral plane I travel through

I heard them tell me that this land of dreams was now
I told them I had ridden shooting stars

And said I’d show them how. . .

Over and under in between the ups and downs
Mind on a carpet magic ride goes round and round

Over the mountain kissing silver inlaid clouds

Watching my body disappear into the crowd

Don’t need no astrology it’s inside of you and me
You don’t need a ticket to fly with me–I’m free–yeah

The good news for Ozzy is that he’s clean and sober now, and no longer needs “substantive” help to levitate and fly off to his land of dreams. In that sense, he is free. It does strike me as funny, though, to hear these fantasy dreams of transcendent escape from one who hosts a reality television show. And while Ozzy and Sharon are hardly Ozzie and Harriet, it does seem like the Osbourne couple is living out the line from Into the Void: Make a home where love is there to stay. May they find, as the song concludes, peace and happiness in every day.


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