He writes: “Here is a track I composed for Birmingham Cathedral, featuring contributions from the Birmingham Cathedral Choir and words selected by the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Birmingham.”
The piece is an expression of Iommi’s gratitude to his home city by paying homage to its central structure, which was “built on higher land given by Elizabeth Phillips. Commissioners, appointed by Bishop Hough of Lichfield,” to later become the historical hub of the town Birmingham, England.
Iommi stated, “We’ve done instrumental work before with orchestras and it’s something I enjoy doing. It’s completely different from any of the heavier stuff. This is a completely new piece of music and I’m really pleased with it.”
Though it may seem ironic that a guitar icon who birthed an entire genre — which then, in turn, spawned an entire worldwide community — that is classically rooted and saturated in darkness would endow an orthodox institution such a gift, Black Sabbath never claimed to be a Satanic unit. Ozzy Osbourne has always been openly Christian and Iommi has never renounced his Catholic roots. To be concise, Sabbath’s lyrics were founded on political and societal discontent.
“People like to find the negative in everything. We weren’t interested in writing songs about the ‘nice’ things in the world, everyone else was writing about that.
We wanted to inject some reality into music.”
You can download “How Good It Is” directly from Birmingham Cathedral.com.