Beatles: Maxwell's Silver Hammer Meaning
Song Released: 1969
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Maxwell's Silver Hammer Lyrics
Science in the home
Late nights all alone with a test-tube
Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine
Calls her on the phone
Can I take you out to the picture
But as she’s...
anonymous Feb 26th 2008, 11:20 report
McCartney said: "'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is my analogy for when something goes wrong out of the blue, as it so often does, as I was beginning to find out at that time in my life. I wanted something symbolic of that, so to me it was some fictitious character called Maxwell with a silver hammer. I don't know why it was silver, it just sounded better than Maxwell's hammer. It was needed for scanning. We still use that expression now when something unexpected happens."
He also later said: "In the past I may have written tongue-in-cheek, like 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer', and dealt with matters of fate in a kind of comical, parody manner. It just so happens in this batch of songs I would look at these subjects and thought it was good for writing. If it's good enough to take to your psychiatrist, it's good enough to make a song of."
Although I would love to believe that Maxwell Edison was a real person, I could not find anything saying so, and McCartney obviously refers to him as fictional.
anonymous Oct 13th 2007, 04:51 report
Ok the silver hammer is not a gun, it's a hammer, actually more like a mallet and Maxwell Edison is a real man in Liverpool, who killed three people in 1969, who got out of jail in 2003. The song is absolutely true every word of it there are no "hidden meanings". McCartney stated that it merely epitomizes the downfalls of life: " 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is my analogy for when something goes wrong out of the blue, as it so often does."
anonymous Dec 17th 2005, 02:19 report
As Paul said, the song is about how in life, as soon as things are going good, something goes wrong. Maxwell's Silver hammer comes crashing down on everyone's good time.
anonymous Feb 12th, 10:54 report
Maxwell is an MI5 agent referred to in George Harrison's last testament,keeping the beatles in line after James Paul McCartney died. McCartney "blew his mind out in a car" after rolling his austin-healey convertible in 1966. The Queen could not allow the news to be spread for fear of mass suicide. The silver hammer could be part of a gun,used by MI5 to silence anyone who claimed Paul was dead. Lennon wanted to tell all, then 2 weeks later was shot by Chapman. Harrison also wanted out from the deal,and he was attacked in his home,but survived. Ringo? he was the replacement drummer and was so happy to be there,he said nothing. In interviews with Harrison in the 80's,he refers to Paul as Faul,short for False Paul.
anonymous Dec 18th 2012, 23:50 report
maxwell was a serial killer,he in the song murders a teacher & gets sent to court in wich he kills the judge .
anonymous Jul 19th 2012, 04:01 report
Nestman got that from wikipedia. I saw the wikipedia page.
anonymous Nov 9th 2011, 18:35 report
I thought it was a sexual metaphor until the 3rd verse... I wish I'd stopped listening after the second verse and kept believing this =p
anonymous Oct 4th 2011, 20:23 report
I always thought the first sentence was the greatest. Although released on Abbey Road, this song was scheduled to be released on the "White Album". This album had many sexual references. Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical science in the home. She was doing some late night self exploration. Late night all alone with a test tube .... ohh, oh oh oh...
Not much question what that is. If you can't figure it out, ask President Clinton.
anonymous Aug 20th 2011, 09:23 report
I am getting the feeling that the song is about a rebeliouse child taking his rebelion too a major extrem. They again im only 11, but that is truly how I feel. If you want a better explanition, LOOK TO THE PERSON WHO WROTE THE SONG!!! I have read many interpretations were Mr.MCcartney said it was a way of life, how things are great and then "bang, bang. Clang, clang." A silver hammer ( bad news, bad event, ect.) Comes down apon your head and ruins everything.
anonymous Jul 31st 2011, 18:10 report
Just a song about a killer. But what I want to know is who let a murderer have a hammer in court, who let him have a hammer in school, why'd he kill his date, isn't medicine wierd thing for him to study, what is patapsysical science , and what does this have to do with werewolves.
anonymous Jun 5th 2011, 01:54 report
The Beatles inner circle believe that Maxwell's Silver Hammer is McCartney's retort to Lennon's attack of Stu Sutcliff with a hammer. Apparently, this occurred during a lover's quarrel between the two in Germany. The blow is thought to have resulted in Stu's death later.
anonymous Jun 5th 2011, 00:53 report
Condom use in the inner city.
anonymous May 21st 2011, 10:17 report
The song is so demented but cute! Maxwell edison is now a real one. That's my parrots name! The love of the crazy kid.
anonymous Apr 20th 2011, 03:56 report
Maxwell was an MI5 agent who helped cover up Paul McCartney's death in Nov 1966. Maxwell kept threatening the remaining 3 Beatles to keep the cover up quiet. Watch the movie, "Paul McCartney really is dead. George Harrison's last Testament" produced by Highway 61 Entertainment and judge for yourself...it's on Netflix now.
anonymous Jan 20th 2011, 20:24 report
That maxwell is a very troubled man. he needded help. he hits people with hammer and then drags them into dumps. rosa parks
anonymous Jan 2nd 2011, 17:45 report
Yup it's ust talking about how life hits you with unexpected and inconvenient occurences (the hammer) and how it happens to everyone. Love the song. Long live the Beatles!!
anonymous Jan 1st 2011, 15:41 report
It's about a serial killer, Maxwell. It's about how life hits you in unexpected ways.
anonymous Jul 21st 2010, 16:48 report
So I just saw this on Wikipedia and thought it was interesting. In the article on the Pope, the death section says:
"In recent centuries it was traditional, when a Pope was judged to have died, for the Cardinal Chamberlain to confirm the death ceremonially by gently tapping the Pope's head thrice with a silver hammer, calling his birth name each time."
Not saying it really means anything, just saying maybe...
anonymous Jun 23rd 2010, 02:50 report
Maybe I've read too much into it, but it sounds like a warning about pharmaceutical companies taking over. Maxwell Edison (majoring in medicine) kills Joan (science), his teacher (education), and the judge (law). Either way, I like my interpretation better... much more prophetic than simply being about bad things happening out of the blue.
anonymous Jun 5th 2010, 16:53 report
Laughing at Anon for:
"Wow, so much fail. Maxwell is a real guy. He really killed three people in this exact order. And he did it all with a silver hammer. Stop trying to be "deep" when there's nothing to be deep about."
Obviously Googling has name will take you to sites taking the p*$$. Bit of a fail yourself. I'm quite happy to accept Paul's explanation.
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