April 27, 2009

Maxwell's Silver Hammer

I linked the Beatles "Piggies" in the last post, which has these lyrics:

In their sties with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.

If you didn't know, Manson used "damn good whacking" to justify the murders, among other songs, but that was a big one.

I don't know why I haven't put this together before, but "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was recorded July 9, 1969, the summer of the Manson murders. The song has this lyric:

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, oh, oh, oh

Which is very much like the Manson courtroom, with Manson Family members holding vigil. The trial didn't start until 1970, while Abbey Road was released in September 1969. Still, releasing a whimsical song about a serial killer, after a lunatic was inspired by "The White Album," seems like something the Beatles might have wanted to stay away from. Eerie, though, that the song was recorded that summer. This cartoon animates just how demented the song is:


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