Black Sabbath

Children of the Grave

Composed by Geezer Butler / Tony Iommi / Ozzy Osbourne

Song Review by

An excellent showcase for guitarist Tony Iommi, ”Children of the Grave” addresses themes similar to ”War Pigs” in that it is a Vietnam War era song that uses grim, fatalistic irony to suggest peace as a better alternative. The lyrics though are a lesser element of the song which is primarily dependent on its instrumental sounds. What’s interesting are the diverse ways that riffs similar to the ones which Iommi plays here show up in later, non-heavy metal songs – the opening notes to Blondie’s ”Call Me” for example. A long-time favorite among aficionados, ”Children of the Grave” was one of the songs performed by Black Sabbath at its 1985 Live Aid reunion.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Master of Reality 1971 Rhino / WB Records 5:17
No Image 1971
Various Artists
Vertigo 5:20
We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll 1976 Warner Bros. 5:21
Children of the Grave 1976 Power Sound 2001 4:35
Mob Rules 1981 BMG / Noise / Sanctuary 0:00
Cross Purposes 1994 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 0:00
Under Wheels of Confusion: 1970-1987 1996 Castle / Essential 5:17
The Best of Black Sabbath [Sanctuary 2000] 2000 Sanctuary 5:17
Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) 2002 Rhino / Warner Bros. 5:17
Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978 2004 Rhino 5:17
Greatest Hits 1970-1978 2006 Rhino / Rrw 5:15
Past Lives, Vol. 1 2007 Earmark 4:33
The Rules of Hell 2008 Rhino / Warner Bros. 5:25
The Greatest Hits 2009 Universal Music TV / Sanctuary / Universal Distribution 5:17
The Complete Albums 1970-1978 2014 Rhino 5:17
The Ultimate Collection 2016 BMG / Sanctuary / Sanctuary Records 5:14