No matter how many times I hear it, it seems confused. Was Black Sabbath singing about the Marvel comic book hero and got it wrong, or was the song based on some other Iron Man?

  • For some strange reason, the song makes me remember Arno Stark, the 2020 (close!) Iron Man: marvel.wikia.com/Arno_Stark_(Earth-8410) I'm pretty sure it's unrelated, though. – Wilerson Jun 12 '12 at 3:07
  • It's sheer coincidence that they have the same name; it did lead to the happy event of the Iron Man 1 end credits prominently featuring that rather epic song, though. – Gabe Willard Jun 12 '12 at 4:31

Ozzy discusses the meaning of the song, and the posted answer above is true. Fast forward to around 22:50 in the interview:

Question: What's the real story behind Iron Man?

Ozzy: Well, it was Geezer Butler, the bass player of Sabbath who brought me the lyric. And what it was about, was a guy who travels through time, and he goes to the future, and he sees the demise of mankind. On the way back to the present time, he goes through this macabre thing, and he gets turned to iron. And he gets so frustrated trying to warn mankind about this impending doom, that he ends up losing it and he starts killing everybody himself.

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    a good answer will transcribe or at least summarize the salient points. don't expect readers to watch a video or click a link to get the answer. – phantom42 Jun 7 '16 at 15:33
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    I was going to transcribe, but I can't understand what Ozzy is saying... – Skooba Jun 7 '16 at 15:47
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    "Rawerr ur ma oo maekkw ga! hahahahaha" – Dave Johnson Jun 7 '16 at 15:48
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    This answer is much better since it has information from the band, even though Ozzy isn't the one who wrote it. I added the transcription. – DCShannon Jun 7 '16 at 18:04
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    It adds the "canon" citation and translation of Ozzy-speak. Too bad this new user can't also get the accept (nothing against dlanod) because rep points are hard to come by for newbies and newbies providing a solid answer are rare. – iMerchant Jun 7 '16 at 18:28

The Black Sabbath song was an original composition by the band based on the concept of someone who travelled in time back from the future, but was turned to immobile steel upon arrival. It just happened to share a name with the Marvel comics character, who is not generally regarded as a time traveller or immobile (although he has probably had adventures where he satisfied either of those conditions).


Ozzy reported upon hearing the riff that would become the famous, or infamous depending on your disposition, said it sounded like "an man made of iron walking around. .. Geezer, or Tommy, can't remember, liked the sound of 'iron man' so they wrote the lyrics around the name.. rest is history.

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    Do you have a source for this? – amflare Aug 11 '17 at 16:00

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