Paul McCartney’s Ex-Wife Called a Song From The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ ‘Chilling’


  • Paul McCartney said a song from The Beatles’ Abbey Road is about things going wrong unexpectedly.
  • His wife, Heather Mills, called the song “a chilling poem.”
  • Abbey Road became a massive international hit.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon on a billboard advertising The Beatles' 'Abbey Road'
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon | Robert Landau / Contributor via Getty Images

Heather Mills didn’t know one of The Beatles‘ songs before she met her future husband, Paul McCartney. She had a strong reaction to the lyrics of a song from The Beatles’ Abbey Road. On the other hand, Paul felt the song was “daft.”

Paul McCartney said 1 song from The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ was about things going wrong unexpectedly

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the origin of a song from The Beatles’ Abbey Road. “‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ was 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,” he recalled.

“I wanted something symbolic of that, so to me it was some fictitious character called Maxwell with a silver hammer,” he added. “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 even now when something unexpected happens.”

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What Heather Mills and Paul McCartney said about The Beatles’ ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’

During a 2002 interview with Hot Press, Paul discussed his then-girlfriend, Heather Mills. Paul was married to her from 2002 to 2008.

“I mean, for instance, Heather, my girlfriend, didn’t know ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ — she was brought up on classical music — her dad was really keen on Wagner and stuff,” he revealed.

Paul and Mills had very different reactions to “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” “So she heard me read ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ and said: ‘Ooh, that’s a really chilling poem‘ and I said: ‘Well no, actually, it’s just a daft song,'” he recalled. “To those of us who know the songs, it is funny, but it actually works at a reading.”

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills standing
Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

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How the public reacted to ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ and ‘Abbey Road’

The Beatles never released “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” as a single so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song appeared on The Beatles’ Abbey Road. The album topped the Billboard 200 for 11 weeks. It stayed on the chart for 462 weeks in total.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Meanwhile, The Beatles’ Abbey Road peaked at No. 1 in the U.K. for 17 weeks. The album lasted 97 weeks on the chart altogether.

“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” was not a hit — but Mills had a strong reaction to the song.

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