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The Beatles Once Sang About 3 Murders!

We look at this Beatles' song 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' from the album Abbey Road that talks about a guy killing 3 people and what inspired it.

The Beatles have made some really crazy songs in their careers. But, this one absolutely takes the cake for being one of the craziest! We’re sure many fans of the band have heard this song before. But, just pause for a moment and take into consideration what the song actually means. Paul McCartney wrote about a bloke, committing not 1, not 2, but 3 murders! And the song we’re talking about is ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ from Abbey Road!

How crazy is ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’?!

Before we dive deep into the origins and recording of this song, let’s just give it another listen, shall we? We’re sure many of the diehard Beatles’ fans must have heard this song thousands of times. Moreover, it’s a part of Abbey Road, arguably one of the most iconic albums of all time, by the Beatles. But, have you ever stopped and wondered what the song was about? Or what was Paul McCartney thinking before writing it? Let’s take a look!

The Beatles Once Sang About 3 Murders! Abbey Road
Abbey Road | Youtube

The first murder…

This Beatles’ classic starts off with a girl named Joan, who was knee-deep into pataphysical science. Suddenly Maxwell Edison, who studies medicine, calls her for a date to the movies. She says yes, after which she was getting ready for the date. But then, she hears a knock on the door and it’s Maxwell. But, instead of taking her to the pictures, he murders her! Paul McCartney really wrote a song about murders, as the song goes:

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

The second…

After that, Paul McCartney proceeded to write about another homicide! Maxwell goes to school the next day and gets detained by his teacher because he was fooling around. She then, tells him to write 50 times on the board “I must not be so”. But, as soon as she turns her back on him, BANG! Maxwell commits another murder! Somehow, he still had his hammer with him in class.

Finally, Maxwell gets caught by the Police and appears in front of a judge. But, Paul McCartney’s world is so weird in this song, that there are still two women in the gallery saying that Maxwell must go free! See it for yourself:

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

This is kind of similar to how women were infatuated with the real life murderer Ted Bundy.

And finally the third!

Thankfully, the judge finds him guilty. But then as the judge reads his sentence, somehow, Maxwell teleports himself behind the judge and murders him too! And somehow he still has his hammer with him. We have no idea what Paul McCartney was smoking when he wrote this. See it for yourself:

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

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

This song is absolutely crazy. No one can even begin to comprehend how anyone can write something like this. But, what inspired Paul to write about this song in the first place?

Why inspired Paul to write it?

According to Paul, this song talks about life when it goes spiraling down. That when one thing goes wrong, everything starts to go wrong. He said:

It epitomizes the downfalls in life. Just when everything is going smoothly, Bang! Bang! Down comes Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and ruins everything.

And he also mentioned that he only mentioned Silver because it sounded good.

Now, Paul never mentioned his particular inspiration to write this song. But, people theorized that he did so because of how bad things were getting in the band. This was the time after The Beatles went to India, and cracks started to appear between the fab four. But, the recording sessions were just bizarre for this song too!

The recording sessions fueled the breakup of the Beatles

Needless to say, George, Ringo, and John weren’t thrilled while recording this song either. Firstly, John Lennon wasn’t even present in the recording. This is because he was in an accident, thus couldn’t show up in the studio for much of the start of Abbey Road.

Secondly, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were really annoyed by this song. They were already fed up with how assertive Paul was with his songs. And adding to that, the two never got many songs of their own in the albums either, including Abbey Road. Ringo had this to say about the song:

The worst session ever was ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.’ It was the worst track we ever had to record. It went on for f@#%ing weeks. I thought it was mad.

Only the Beatles can make a song about a triple homicide, and make you giggle and dance over it. But, it did come at a heavy cost, as it looks like it may have fueled the divide between the Beatles, resulting in the most iconic break up of any band for all times.