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Fairies Wear Boots

"Fairies Wear Boots"
Song by Black Sabbath
from the album Paranoid
A-side"After Forever"
Released18 September 1970
GenreHeavy metal[1]
Producer(s)Rodger Bain

"Fairies Wear Boots" is a song by the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, appearing on their 1970 album Paranoid. It was released in 1971 as the B-side to the single "After Forever".


The exact inspiration behind "Fairies Wear Boots" is unclear. In the 2010 documentary film Classic Albums: Black Sabbath's Paranoid, the band's bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler states that he composed the lyrics after a violent encounter with skinheads in London, who are the "fairies" in the song.[2] However, in the 2004 release of Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970–1978), guitarist Tony Iommi states that the lyrics were inspired by an incident in which Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne were smoking cannabis and witnessed what they believed to be fairies in a park[3][4] In Osbourne's autobiography I Am Ozzy, he stated that he does not recall what the song was written about.

On original 1970 US copies of the Paranoid album, the song's intro was listed under the title "Jack the Stripper".[5]

The song has been ranked the 11th best Black Sabbath song by author Christoph Rehe.[6]


A live version of "Fairies Wear Boots", taken from a session for the BBC's John Peel Sunday Show dated April 26, 1970, is featured on the bonus disc of a 1997 Ozzy Osbourne compilation entitled The Ozzman Cometh. The song also appears on the Black Sabbath's first compilation album, We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll.

Osbourne released a live rendition of the song on his 1982 solo album Speak of the Devil.



  1. ^ Chris Nickson (3 August 2002). Ozzy Knows Best: The Amazing Story of Ozzy Osbourne, from Heavy Metal Madness to Father of the Year on MTV's "The Osbournes". St. Martin's Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-4299-5452-5.
  2. ^ Classic Albums - Paranoid, by Isis Productions/Eagle Rock Entertainment
  3. ^ Black Sabbath Black Box Original Black Sabbath
  4. ^ Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)
  5. ^ As noted on the labels of early North American Warner Bros. Records pressings of Paranoid, (catalog no. WS 1887), released January 1971.
  6. ^ Rehe, Christoph (2013). Rock - Das Gesamtwerk der größten Rock-Acts im Check: alle Alben, alle Songs. Ein eclipsed-Buch (in German). Sysyphus Sysyphus Verlags GmbH. ISBN 3868526463.

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