This song is about Skinheads. At the time in England, Skinheads were not racists, but punks and anarchists. They usually wore boots, which is how Sabbath got the title. Regarding the rest of the words, guitarist Tony Iommi said, "We smoked a lot of dope, so that might be why some of the lyrics are a bit unusual."
The lyrics were inspired by an incident after a Sabbath concert in 1970. The band was attacked by a bunch of Skinheads after the show, injuring Tony Iommi and forcing them to cancel their next performance.
The intro is called "Jack The Stripper." It is listed as its own song on US versions of the album.
Floatsam and Jetsam, Phantom Blue, and Toilet Boys all covered this.
Tremelo from Usa, NjFaries Wear Boots is a line from "Anne of Greene Gables" Sabbath was well read I suppose. lol!!!
George from Vancouver, CanadaLet's look at the title they chose: Faires Wear Boots. Fairies has long been a term for flitty homosexual men/boys. The lyrics clearly refer to marijuana use
Could it be as simple as that they were saying smoking weed is so powerful that it even empowers fairies to dress like bikers?
Doesn't matter -- love this song & album! Got the original vinyl LP. . .
Bill from TorontoBlackberry Smoke also covers this song. https://youtu.be/nPSm2FBddTs?list=PL6ylxv-uTEdEqe054ArMHMV6pY7e4vNEV
Mike from Carrollton, TxI think Henry Rollins said it best, on the VH1 Album Classic that was shown on 8/22/13; giving tribute to this album "You could play every song today, and it is as relevant today, as it was back then! Tony in my opinion, one of the best guitarist ever... Geezer without a doubt, played bass like no other. Ward on the drums, and Ozzy - well the vocals speak for themselves. Black Sabbath ROCKS and LIVES ON!! The real question I have for Sabbath fans: what is your fav album? So many to choose from, but Paranoid totally ROCKS my world!
R0d0l from Branford, CtWho gives a s--t what it's about..in fact, most likely we'll never really know. Who are all you that think you can analyze song lyrics and KNOW what the band was thinking when the wrote them. These guys were f--ked up from day one... do you really think they remember what they were thinking about when they wrote the song, or the lyrics, or whatever? We should all just be eternally grateful that the stars all aligned at the right time to produce this particular song. It still f--king rocks, 40 years later! My daughter is only 13, when I played this song for her she was floored! She's a rocker, but like any 13 year old she also loves the current genre of pop music. But she heard this song by Sabbath, and now her and I are going to the Sabbath concert in August 2013! She already loved Ozzy, Crazy Train is her favorite (not mine) - but the fact that this music still resonates 4 decades later is what's relevant...not whether Ozzy was high, or biting head off rats. Who cares what the lyrics mean! I doubt Ozzy or the band even have a clue....they might stir up the pot by saying "oh, Ozzy had a dream about fairies one night" or "skinheads drank all our booze" or whatever other s--t you f--kers make up! My point is, shut your pieholes and rock on!
David from Philly, PaAll are wrong on.....On VH1 Classic Album: Black Sabbath: Paranoid - Geezer and Ozzy explain it. Geezer said they wanted to write a song about how skinheads who wear combat boots were assholes. Ozzy couldn't think of of any other lyrics except that "Fairies Wear boots" so the song than evolved into a song about tripping. So in a way you are all right and wrong.
Andy from Las Vegas, NvOne overlooked element to this song is Ward's jazz-style drumming. It adds so much to this great song. Tony and Ozzy get most of the attention, but Ward and Butler were just as important to this group.
David from Buenos Aires, Argentinaozzy had the skinheads bad moment so when he was tripping he had the bad trip of the fairies with skinhead boots bad english i know. but good conclusion
Dusty from St. Louis, MoOzzy Osbourne said in his autobiography that "people have told him what that song is about, but he still doesn't know."
Digby from Tauranga, New ZealandI don't know where the song came from, but it was one of my favourite songs in those days. I used to play it in my car and turn up the volume. Such great riffs !
Johua from Sydney, Australiai alway thought that this song was about ozzy having another acid trip and decribing wat he had seen.and another thing, who is the dewarf?"Fairy boots were dancing' with a dwarf"
Marissa from Akron, OhPardon my nerdiness but in the role-playing game Wizard 101 that my little brother plays, one of the missions you have to complete is called Fairies Wear Boots.
K from Baton Rouge, LaTwo things:
One, this song is not about skinheads. Listen to the lyrics, "Smoking and tripping is all that you do." How can you say that the song is not about an acid trip? Seriously. If you think this song is about skinheads, you're quite obviously retarded.
Second of all, this song is not in Beavis And Butt-Head Do America. There's a song by Ozzy Osbourne (but NOT Black Sabbath) in the movie, called "Walk On Water".
John from Windsor, CtWhat about the line, "So I went to the doctor to see what he could give me. He said sorry son, you've gone too far, cause smoking and tripping is all you do."?
Thomas from Somerville, AlAgain, people trying to read something into a simple song. The music in this one is great and no doubt one of the greatest orchestrations of the band. The lyrics however,,not the best by far are nothing more than an anthem to substance abuse.
Jack The Hat from City In The Clouds, United KingdomThis song is a blues hence it being so heavy. On the seven ages of rock Black Sabbath said it was about some skinheads who attacked them and ran off like the cowards they were. Hence fairies wear boots.
Kent from Stockholm, SwedenIsn't this song about what Ozzy saw when he was high and not about skinheads?
Bazzaman from Johnson, VtSkinheads, drugs? Maybe, but you'd have to ask the original line up what's behind it all (and they're all probably a little foggy about it all fourty years or so later)... all I know is this song is hard, heavy, and will rock your socks off. One of Sabbath's best.
Lundin from Stockholm, SwedenAccording to Hugh Gilmour (who I believe is a record cover designer), who wrote the text for the remaster of Paranoid:
"...it becomes apparent that the band wrote more paens to the use and abuse of drugs than to glories of worshipping Beelzebub, of which Fairies Wear Boots is no exception, although the song's title came from a scrape with some skinheads."
Randy from Colerain Twp., OhThis is one of the songs that I had listened to when I had experienced my first time getting high- so it does bring back memories. Every once in a great while, the radio station that I mostly listen to still plays this, and I still crank up the volume.
Daniel from Naperville, IlI've never seen this mentioned, but the following is a passage from "Anne of Green Gables", which predates this song by almost 60 years: "It's necessary for fairies to have slippers, you know. You couldn't imagine a fairy wearing boots, could you? Especially with copper toes?". Could this be the source of inspiration for the title? Maybe Geezer didn't want to admit it and came up with a more macho story about getting attacked by Skinheads!
Luke from Manchester, EnglandSabbath themselves said it's about skinheads attacking them after a concert - They were cowardly so Sabbath called them "Fairies" and they wore boots...
Steven from West Carrollton, OhFor those who said this was about "skinheads," you're ALL wrong-it's about some guy who's on an acid trip after a wild night. If you think it's about skinheads, you are obviously NOT Sabbath fans. And how do you explain the "dwarves" reference? Listen to Fozzy of Miami, FL. on this topic.
A from Leicester, Englandrobert from chicago, no Skinheads in the 70s?, your wrong there, skinheads date back to the 1960s and came out of the "Hard mod" movement with rudeboy influence
these guys we're diffrent to the more famous/infamous punk influenced skinheads of the late 70s and 1980s ( i myself am this type of Skinhead) as they were the "trad" types, they had number 2 grade hair and 10i boots rather than the 14i, fully shaven heads that came later
do some research before you comment
personnelly i think the song prehaps come from the fact they were high when they were attacked by skinheads
Music Natzi from Albany, NyThis is one of my favorite songs. I don't exactly no why. But something about just makes it seem dark.
Jeremy from Warren , RiI didn't know they had skinheads in the early 70's im gonna have to look into that one!
J from Ludington, MiThere were skinheads in the '70s folks. It began as a working class movement in England. If you need more information you can very easily google "Oi" or "British Punk" or "Skinhead" for more information.
Ravyn from Hell, NyAccording to "How Black Was Our Sabbath", Ozzy and Geezer were high, and swore they saw fairies chasing some dwarves around some bushes in the park.
this song kicks ass live!
Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandWhatever it's about, it's a great song. But why the f^#k would you smash up Black Sabbath? If it's true the bastards should be shot. The Sabbath lives on...
Robert from Chicago, IlThis is a song about Ozzy and Geezer being drunk and high and going outside and thought they saw a fairy wearing boots like fozzy said. think about it, there were no skinheads in 1970s. but im not saying your all stupid. the record producers said it was about skinheads so Black Sabbath wouldnt be always considered a direct connection with drugs and alchohal (FYI Ozzy was the only heavy drug addict at that time, Bill was an alchohalic, while Geezer and Tony were asociated but not heavy.) and when they said that they're were skinheads around.
Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThis song's intro, Jack The Stripper is so cool, how they do the trippy guitar thing. When I listen to it, I can just see the Paranoid album cover.
Michael Picard from Lapwai, IdThis song is so bluesy, I love it. This song has really cool drum rolls and crazy lyrics because of the skin heads wearing boots that attacked Sabbath. I like singin' this especially the ending Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!
Luke from Manchester, EnglandTHe song is about how Skinheads attacked the band and ran off afterwards, hence them not being hard, hence them being Fairies...
Fairies Wear Boots
Dan from T.c, MiIf you bought the box set, or have read anything about sabbath, you would know that geezer got the s--t kicked out of him by skin heads.
Fozzy from Miami, Flyou guys are all wrong. i bought black box the black sab collection, and they explain all the songs. Ozzy and Geezer were drunk and high and went outside and thought they saw a fairy wearing boots. thats it. no skinheads involved
Tokie from Mexico City, MexicoThe title cam from skinheads wearing boots but it's about tripin out. And if you don't belive me then explain the lyrics so I went to the doctor to see what he could give me he said son son you've gone to far cause smokin and trippin is all that you do. Now if that isn't a drug refrance than Purple Haze is about the weather!
Brian from Paoli, InThis song is used in the Beavis and Butthead movie, Beavis and Butthead Do America.