Album: Diary of a Madman (1981)
Play Video


  • According to Sharon Osbourne, the title (which does not appear in the lyric) stands for Sharon Arden, Thelma Osbourne. Arden is Sharon's maiden name - she is the daughter of the record mogul Don Arden. Thelma Osbourne is Ozzy's first wife.
  • The song was originally titled "Strange Voyage," but according to Bob Daisley, who wrote the lyric, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne changed it after he and drummer Lee Kerslake were booted from the band. Daisley wrote the song with Ozzy, Kerslake and guitarist Randy Rhoads, who were the band for the first two post-Sabbath Ozzy albums: Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. The foursome started out as a band called Blizzard of Ozz, but when their first album was released, the record company issued it as an Osbourne solo album, so Daisley, Rhoads and Kerslake essentially became Ozzy's backing band.
  • The introspective lyric was inspired by a letter written by the Buddhist monk Nichiren Daishonin in 1261. The letter was called "A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering."
  • The band Deceased covered this for the 1999 compilation Land of the Wizard: A Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brett - Edmonton, Canada

Comments: 33

  • Slam from JerseyPretty damned sure Ozzy shouted "Sail Away to Oblivion" at the Meadowlands date just after the Diary tour resumed. Wasn't paying close attention since I'd seen Randy the year before at the Capitol in Passaic New Jersey.
  • Thcranky1 from Wichita,kansasTommy Aldridge was definitely the drummer that did the concert that was on mtv in the early 80's. Now check this out it was a concert simocast so your local rock station would pick up the frequency you would then take your stereo and set it up around your television. This was the first of stereo television. You watched the concert on cable on your tv your home stereo speakers are on both sides of the tv radio is tuned to the local station that received the simocast signal and viola!! Stereo television!! Brad Gillis was playing at that time...randy had died just a week or so earlier and brad had to learn all the songs in like a couple of days. A very talented musician but an impossible shadow to fill...had to have been difficult to do I comend him for helping ozzy.
  • AnonymousSatanic Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Larry Mcdevvott from 12345Snails and Turtles Obviously
  • David from West Of Yo MamaSave All The Oysters - duh, it's about a fisherman
  • Damon from UsaShip Against The Ocean .. Its obviously a battle.
  • Launa from NySail Away To Ozz!
  • Jodie from Xx"Satan always takes over", that's even stupider than "Sail across the ocean" Unbelievable.
  • Jodie from XxSailing across the ocean lol. It's Sharon Arden Thelma Osbourne. It's in Bob Daisley's book, and he wrote the lyrics.
  • Dutch from Brooklyn, NyI met Bob Daisley & asked him about the same song. It was called "Sail Across The Ocean". Sharon Osbourne is not only a bitch, but a whore as well. Physically & business wise. Not naming names...but I have met & jammed with a few of former Ozzy band members, dead & alive and they all said the same thing. Ozzy is the way he is because of Sharon, it's the only way she can control him and if anyone looks after him, she fires them. f--k YOU SHARON OSBOURNE....!
  • Franco from Mexico, NmI was pretty sure it stood for SOUTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORG, As its counterpart NATO. If it actually stood for "Sharon, Adrian, Thelma, Ozzy. Adrian was Sharon's boyfriend at the time, and Thelma was Ozzy's wife." as Josh stated, then it was obviously a Phoenetic spell to break them up and switch them around. Its no secret the magick which the music industrial complex has. Is it?
  • Skyelar from Smithville, TnI once heard that S.A.T.O. stands for Shout At The Orca. Most of these titles would make since though.
  • Kasey from Haltom City, TxSail across the ocean makes sence, considering the lyrics and all.
  • Frank from Waterbury, CtI always heard it was Sail Across The Ocean, which obviously makes sense considering the subject matter of the lyrics.
  • Alan from Arlington, Txi think it should be an acronym for SATAN ALWAYS TAKES OVER. !!!!!!
  • Greg from Slidell, Lano it doesnt read the lyrics.it definetly something about sailing across the ocean
  • Barry from Alton, IlIt Means Sharon Arden,Thelma Osbourne. I Read It On Ozzy's Profile On IMDB.Com Interesting Facts. Check It Out. Sailing Across The Ocean Is Wrong!
  • Fredrik from Stockholm, --Sharon Adrian Thelma Ozzy - Adrian is the dude Sharon dated before and Thelma is Ozzy's ex-wife
  • Josh from Detroit, MiThe title is definitely NOT Sail Across The Ocean, or anything like that. The initials stand for four names: Sharon, Adrian, Thelma, Ozzy. Adrian was Sharon's boyfriend at the time, and Thelma was Ozzy's wife. This was said by Bob Daisley himself.
  • Jason from Denver, CoWhen I was in the Air Force it stood for Scheduled Airlines Ticket Office. It was often called "SAYTO". Big whoop,Huh?. I always thought of as a military tribute to Ozzy.
  • Jon from --------, SwedenSailing Across the Ocean, Ships At the Ocean, whatever. Amazing song.
  • Jeff Clifton from Nashua, NhYou all should read Rudy Sarzo's "Off the Rails". That is, if you want to know how the entire US Blizzard and Diary Tour went. He also writes about how they went on without Randy and how they went forward with Bernie Torme and then Brad Gillis.

    Great read.
  • Jeff Clifton from Nashua, NhSailing Across the Ocean.
  • Tom from Anglesey, Uk, WalesYeah, I heard it was Sailing Across the Ocean
  • Ckathy from Glasgow, ScotlandBob Daisley said in an interview that these lyrics, which HE wrote was originally called "Strange Voyage" but the title was changed by the the time the album came out.
    A few other things were changed too, the album credits Rudy Sarzo as the bassist and Tommy Aldrige as the drummer. In all actuality it is Daisley on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums.
    I'm not kidding look it up on Wikipedia.
    Daisley did not change the songs title , Sharon did.
  • Jon from Warner Robins, GaIt stands for Sail Away to Ozz.
  • Ravyn from Hell, NyIts true, it stands for Sharon Arden Thema Osbourne, to stand for his now current wife, and his first.
  • The Devil from Whiteland, InTerry, where did you hear Sharon Osbourne say that?
  • Jp from Kelowna, CanadaIan what the hell makes you so sure, did you talk to Ozzy yourself? Don't think so buddy.
  • Don from Philadelphia, PaDoes it have something to do with N.A.T.O. (North Atlantic Treaty Orginization)?
  • Mark from Montebello, CaShips At The Ocean may be right, but I think it means Sailing Across The Ocean.
  • Ian from Seaside, OrIt really stands for Ships At The Ocean. Ozzy didn't feel the title fit the dark aura of the rest of the album so he used the initials instead.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Chris Tomlin

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennittSongwriter Interviews

The Celtic music maker Loreena McKennitt on finding musical inspiration, the "New Age" label, and working on the movie Tinker Bell.

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Graham Parker

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.