"Children of the Sea" is perhaps the most distinctive song from the Black Sabbath album Heaven and Hell
. While the writing credits on the album are given to the entire crew of Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, the rest of the group already had the tune while Dio, brought in to replace Ozzy Osbourne, wrote the lyrics.
In the book Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces
, Dio tells how this song became his welcome to the band: "I met them at the house that they were using to rehearse in and purely went to say hello and get to know them. I had no thoughts whatsoever of being in the band. As far as I knew, Ozzy was still in the band. During the conversation, Tony asked me if I'd like to see the studio they were doing their things in. He, Geezer and Bill picked up their instruments and started to play [what became] 'Children of the Sea' and I liked it very much. Tony asked me if I could do anything with it. I said, 'Give me a few minutes, I think I can knock something out.' We pretty well wrote the song that quickly."
Incidentally, in the aforementioned book it is revealed that this was almost the end of Black Sabbath! The band had agreed that if any of the seminal members left, they wouldn't call whatever remained "Black Sabbath" any more. What saved the name? They were contractually obligated to produce one more album with Vertigo/ Warner Brothers!