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The Beatles Maxwell's Silver Hammer Lyrics

Last updated: 11/17/2014 02:37:09 AM

Joan was quizzical; Studied pataphysical
Science in the home.
Late nights all alone with a test tube.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine,
Calls her on the phone.
"Can I take you out to the pictures,
Joa, oa, oa, oan?"

But as she's getting ready to go,
A knock comes on the door.

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Came down upon her head.
Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Made sure that she was dead.

Back in school again Maxwell plays the fool again.
Teacher gets annoyed.
Wishing to avoid an unpleasant
Sce, e, e, ene,

She tells Max to stay when the class has gone away,
So he waits behind
Writing fifty times "I must not be
So, o, o, o.."

But when she turns her back on the boy,
He creeps up from behind.

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Came down upon her head.
Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Made sure that She was dead.

P. C. Thirty-one said, "We've caught a dirty one."
Maxwell stands alone
Painting testimonial pictures.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery
Say he must go free
(Maxwell must go free)
The judge does not agree and he tells them
So, o, o, o.

But as the words are leaving his lips,
A noise comes from behind.

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Came down upon his head.
Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Made sure that he was dead.

Silver Hammer Ma, a, an.




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Some Things | Reviewer: Frank | 11/14/14

"Maxwell stands alone, painting testimonial pictures:In jail, Lecter drew often." That verse describes Maxwell giving testimony on the stand in court. It has nothing to do with painting or drawing as Hannibal did.

"She came in through the bathroom window references Tuesday Weld and the Manson murders" There is nothing about coming in through a window in this song.

"My son has wanted to know what all they say because they both like to hear all the background voices." The background voices sing "do do dooo do". When Rose and Valerie scream he must go free, the background voices say "Maxwell must go free".

I always wondered why Maxwell is studying medicine, but then he's in school like grammar school. It seems to be a flashback to an earlier time in his life. He kills Joan. Flash back to him killing the teacher. Then it's back to the present. After killing Joan, Max goes on a killing spree. He's caught and tried.

predictive programming | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/20/13

Sinister little tune that points to the fact that Mcartney has Satanic connections. This is the second tune off Abbey Rd., written by him that has links to serial murders. She came in through the bathroom window references Tuesday Weld and the Manson murders, this song is predictive of the Chillenden murders and further hammer attacks on females, from behind, for which Levi Bellfield has been set up for. Jack the Hammer is alive and kicking

Bang! Bang! | Reviewer: DangerTiger8 | 7/12/12

Silver Hammer is a wonderful song and will be adored by fans for years to come. I am proud to report that I have memorized this song thanks to this site. I am a HUGE Beatles maniac, my dad introduced me to them!
Peace, Pie, and Danger,
~T

Pataphysics | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/25/12

I believe that the word pataphysical is the key to unlocking the lyrics. Maxwell is not really murdering anyone in the song, however he may be "killing" them with his wit perhaps, or maybe even his own brand of Silver Hammer acid. For more info, look up pataphysics in the Wikipedia.

Similarities | Reviewer: Nikola | 4/18/11

Does this remind anyone else of Hannibal Lecter, especially in Hannibal Rising?
Back in school again, Maxwell plays the fool again: In Hannibal Rising, Lecter pretended to be mute.
Maxwell Eddison, majoring in medicine: Hannibal Lecter majored in medicine.
Maxwell stands alone, painting testimonial pictures:
In jail, Lecter drew often.

Awesomely catchy song <3 | Reviewer: Mimi | 1/4/11

I just got hooked on the Beatles' music a few weeks ago, and I have to say; this is probably one of my all-time faves.

And about the cracking in Paul's voice in the line "So he waits behi-ind..." and the chuckling in the line "Writing fifty times...", I think it adds a bit of a...."psychotic" mood to the song; even if it wasn't intended, it works. But, that's just my opinion. :D

obsessed children | Reviewer: maggie | 7/31/10

my kids are 8 and 11 and are obsessed with the beatles and this song is one of their favs. My son has wanted to know what all they say because they both like to hear all the background voices. This song is awesome cause it shows the beatles funny side

Does he crack up? | Reviewer: larryh | 3/3/10

"but in the second verse, where he sings "so he waits be-hi-ind" his voice sounds like it's slightly wavering. Immediately afterward as he sings 'Writing fifty times' it sounds like he's holding back a laugh."

You're right! The story is that when Paul sang "waits behind" John mooned him and Paul had to hold in his snickering. Look up the song in Wikepedia and you'll see the anecdote.

Does he crack up? | Reviewer: Sitb | 2/12/10

I've never read any interviews or anything but in the second verse, where he sings "so he waits be-hi-ind" his voice sounds like it's slightly wavering. Immediately afterward as he sings "Writing fifty times" it sounds like he's holding back a laugh.

Maybe I'm crazy or have just listened to the song so many bloody times. Anyone ever noticed this?

Great song | Reviewer: Maxwell | 10/30/09

First of all, yes my name is really Maxwell, and no thats not the only reason i like the song. Moving on, I think this song is just something completely ridiculous, and is meant as a mood lightener. It's a hilarious oxymoron of murder and happyness. it's just amazing.

For Whatever Maxwell's Worth | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/14/08

The University of Wisconsin Band played "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" @ every home hockey game back in '72 and the Badgers of WI went on to win their 1st NCAA championship in mens division 1 hockey. The song was never a hit. John ended up hating it 'cause Paul made the Beatles work so long on it to get it right. John knew it would never be a hit. If you hadn't noticed already, Paul was never as clever as John when it came to writing story songs. But Paul didn't mind. His strengths were in creating melodies for pop tunes and silly love songs. But every now and then he hit the nail on the head with a great ballad or rock song like (Let Me Roll It; Maybe I'm Amazed; My Love; Junior's Farm; Live And Let Die) just to name a few.

For Whatever Maxwell's Worth | Reviewer: SSS | 11/15/08

During the 1972-73 college hockey season, part of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band would play Maxwell's Silver Hammer at every home ice game. The U.W. Badgers went on that year to win their 1st N.C.A.A.
championship. Were the Badgers motivated by the 'Silver Hammer?' Who knows? But one thing is for sure, it took the Beatles a long time to get that song recorded. John Lennon ended up hating the song because it took so long, and he knew it would never be a hit. Still, it's kind of funny to find that many people both young and old like the song.

Paul's comment to thiss song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/25/08

"'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."

Maxwells silver hammer | Reviewer: thebeatles babe | 10/21/08

i loved it ! great song ...something to hum to when your in 3rd period english...great stuf...minus the fact its talking about a killer...but thats all just fun paul made up...not real...just something that came to mind

i heard it too. | Reviewer: missyxlovesxyou | 7/8/08

"I'm not sure about this or anything, but I heard somewhere that his "silver hammer" was a symbol that when everything is going smoothish (sorta) his "silver hammer" comes and turns things around. Don't quote me, I'm not sure, just heard it somewhere :)"

that's in the anthology, dude.
i got it for my 16th birthday this year and i'm totally in absolute MAD LOVE with it. but yeah. paul mccartney was talking about writing it and stuff.

PAUL: “It’s just a silly story about all these people I’d never met. It’s just like writing a play: you don’t have to know the people, you just make them up.
The song epitomizes the downfalls of life. Just when everything is going smoothly – Bang! Bang! – down comes Maxwell’s silver hammer and ruins everything.”


anywhom, i love the song. it's one of my top ten favorites of all time. it's so satirical, really. the upbeat happy tune and the story of a serial murderer really makes this song absolutely wonderful.
hooray for teenagers who actually know what they're talking about!!! =]