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N.I.B. by Black Sabbath

Album: Black SabbathReleased: 1970
  • In this song, Satan falls in love with a human woman and tries to seduce her. He turns out to be very charming and the early lyrics are quite poetic. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
  • The title refers to drummer Bill Ward's beard. The band called him "Nibby" because they thought it looked like the nib on the end of a pen (Ozzy came up with the nickname when he was stoned). Says Geezer Butler: Originally it was Nib, which was Bill's beard. When I wrote N.I.B., I couldn't think of a title for the song, so I just called it Nib, after Bill's beard. To make it more intriguing I put punctuation marks in there to make it N.I.B. By the time it got to America, they translated it to Nativity In Black. (thanks, Greg - Triad, NC)
  • Many fans thought the title stood for "Nativity In Black" or "Name In Blood."
  • The bass intro is called "Bassically." It is listed as a separate song on US versions of the album.
  • "Nativity In Black" is the name of 2 Black Sabbath tribute albums released in 1994 and 2000. Groups contributing to the albums include Megadeth, Godsmack, Biohazzard, and Faith No More.
  • The first Nativity In Black album, released in 1994, contains a cover of this by Ugly Kid Joe. The second, from 2000, contains a version from Primus with Ozzy Osbourne.
  • In November of 1969, Black Sabbath appeared on John Peel's Top Gear radio show, where they played this song along with "Black Sabbath," "Behind the Wall of Sleep," and "Sleeping Village." It was some great early exposure for the band.
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Comments: 35

The origin of N.I.B's riff was from Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love. Different rhythm etc but Tony took it, twisted it and made it into something else.Ricky - Killie, United Kingdom
It is impossible for a band like UGLY KID JOE to do a good cover of a Black Sabbath song!!!Tony - Bewdley, United Kingdom
I heard Ozzy in a live broadcast say it meant something like "Numbing Itching Brain." Good one, Ozzy!Earl - Jefferson City, Mo
this song makes me think of when i first fell in love with my now-ex-girlfriend, Rachael. I WANT HER BACK HELLA BAD!!!Charlie - Las Vegas, Nv
Sabbath certainly dabbled dark in their lyrics, and to some degree that's what they wanted the public to think of them.

Geezer says this about the devil falling in love, and realizing he can't make her truly love him even with his powers, so he has to change.

Great song no matter what it really means!
Bazzaman - Johnson, Vt
i think its about the devil pretending to be a nice guy just to get laid, and then after the dead is done he wants her to join him and build there power together however in the next song he realizes she is just as evil as he, and he is the one who got played(just another opinion)Johua - Sydney, Australia
"My name is Lucifer" (I'm a sweet bringer of light)
"Please take my hand" (in love/marriage, because you see only the light aspect I'm playacting just to win you over, you silly mortal!)
Cyberpope - Richmond, Canada
This song will be discussed on The "ROCK" Show Sunday 1/25/09 on SPAZZradio.com @ 9pm. http://spazzradio.com/rock.htmlJohn - Chesterfield, Mi
Holy s&%t, doesn't Geezer absolutely terrify you at the very beginning with that insane bass solo?
Then, he gets even scarier throughout the rest of the song.
Absolutely ass-whooping song, and the lyrics are pretty cool => a love song from the point of view of Lucifer/Satan/Asmodeus/etc.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
Satan Falls in love and becomes a man. However if you listen to the next song the Woman is evil so much that Satan (Lucifer, Samael , whatever you call that non existent demon thie era) himself fears her and is left heartbroken, "Evil Woman". Which makes sense considering the last song is a cover that is about a break up "The Warning".Factguynobullshit - Dallas, Tx
I don't care what Dio said about the title, I heard Ozzy explain it himself in a "The Last Supper" interview. It was all about the beard as several have mentioned. Apparently, though, the rumor became so popular that a tribute album was named after it. "Nativity In Black." But this was not the original idea. Listen to Ozzy.Jimmy - Texarkana, Tx
NOBODY IS BEAUTIFULCisco M.f. - Andover, Nj
actually a lyric in the song is "my name is lucifer"lucifer is satans name.John - Dayton, Oh
DON'T LISTEN to those other people! N.I.B. is just simply a nickname for their drummer!!!Gar - Abingdon, Va
This song is about nothing satanic or satan. The booklet in my "black sabbath greatest hits 1970-1978" cd says this song is about the shape of drummer Bill Ward's head. No joke!Joe - Bellingham, Wa
Well, Tokie from Mexico City is right. N.I.B. doesn't stand for anything. I suppose they added the periods to make you think it was an acronym. (Can you say "Sales ploy"?)Allen - Bethel, Ak
I think it's a great song and I didn't know the original meaning of Lucifer was bringer of light, I actually learned something from this. You learn things everyday and from the most unexpected places.Josh - Boce Raton, Fl
You can see why some people think Sabbath is a devil group. Having a song about Satan probably didn't help any.Joel - Boston, Ma
Did anyone notice he says "bevile in me" instead of "believe in me"?Rafael - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
"what does taking lucifer's hand have to do with him bringing light?"

I believe the guy was just bringing our attention to the original meaning of the name lucifer: "light-bringer" or "morning-star".
Seb - --
One interpretation could be that it's Lucifer trying to convert people to follow him, by promising them the moon and stuff... I'm not saying that's the true meaning, just an alternate way of seeing it...Ed - London, Canada
there cannot be a better, and more intense song than thisAli - Islamabad, Pakistan
cliff burton of metallica was inspired to write his mind blowing bass solo after hearing the bass part at the begining of this song i learned that from my friend kyleDustin - My Home, In
first of all, geezer butler is possibly the best bassist to ever walk the earth. second, everybody who said that the title has to do with bill's nib on his beard is correct. third, whoever said the thing with Dio, Ronny James Dio is a job stealing @&%$. he does not know anything about Black Sabbath and Ozzy has every right to hate him for the rest of eternity. no matter how good Holy Diver is. just a fun fact, on ozzy's solo career on his Diary of a Madman tour, the midget he hanged ozzy nomed Ronny James Dio, just so he could hang his rival.Robert - Chicago, Il
Or is N.I.B. just standing for '' AND I BE '' ?Burak - Mersin, Turkey
Watch the "Black & Blue" tour video. This is the tour they did with Blue Oyster Cult. I believe it's the same tour that they recorded the "Live Evil" album from. But, in the video, Ronnie James Dio explains that N.I.B. does indeed stand for "Nativity In Black".Scott - Naperville, Il
They played this on their first two albums: the paris live one and the black Sabbath(first but not really) Album. It is such a wickedly awesome song it's my moms favorite Sabbath song.Michael Picard - Lapwai, Id
Geezer Butler wrote the lyrics (he wrote most of Sabbath's lyrics...), and he has said that he wanted to write a love song, but he figured he'd make it interesting by writing a love song from the point of view of the Devil falling in love.Steve - Louisville, Ky
When I heard this song it sounded really familiar can anyone tell me where I might have heard.Nathan - Brisbane, Australia
what does taking lucifer's hand have to do with him bringing light?Brady - Fort Stockton, Tx
Tokie's right. The song's named after Bill Ward who's beard at the time looked like the the NIB of a fountain pen. The confusion arose when the first Nativity In Black covers album was released in the 90's.The Bear - Stirling, Scotland
NO N.I.B dose'n't stand for necrophilics in black or "Nativity In Black" or "Name In Blood". It was the nikname of there drummer beacuse his beard looked like a Pen NIB. It has nothing to with the the song it just stuck as the title!Tokie - Mexico City, Mexico
N.I.B. stands for necrophilics in black.Dave - San Antonio, Tx
I think that when he says "my name is Lucifer please take my hand" there referring to the meaning of the word Lucifer which is the bringer of light.Corey - Milford, Ma
The Ugly Kid Joe cover is really good. I think this song is alot like "Sympathy For the Devil" because they are portraying him not as some beastly demon. But as a man.Brian - Paoli, In