Friday, 14 June 2013

My Top Ten Hammer Songs

Stop - Hammer time!

Lots of fine hammer records were listened to while compiling this Top Ten... and I could have tried to be much cooler by including Captain Beefheart, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and Motorhead. But in the end, these are the ones that hammered their way into my head...

(Special mention to the man with a mind to rhyme and two hyped feet, of course. You really can't touch him.)

10. Huey Lewis & The News - It Hit Me Like A Hammer

Late period Huey, from when I was the only one still buying his records. Huey always makes me smile though...

9. The Beatles - Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Another of Macca's annoying nursery rhymes, this is probably the worst thing on Abbey Road. Still historic.

8. Bob Marley - Hammer

Don't tease Bob Marley. He has a hammer and he's not afraid to use it.

7. The Breeders - Divine Hammer

Video directed by Spike Jonze. It features a floating nun Kim Deal. Unsurprisingly for Spike Jonze.

6. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Hammer Song
Many miles did I roam
Through the ice and through the snow
My horse died on the seventh day

I stumbled into a city
Where the people tried to kill me
And I ran in shame

Then I came upon a river
And I laid my saddle down
And then the hammer came down
Lord, the hammer came down
Wonderfully apocalyptic storytelling from Nick, though there is a bit in the song that reminds me of the theme tune to John Craven's Newsround... but I'm kinda damaged like that.

5. Banjo & Sullivan - I'm At Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed)

With a title like that, what else do you need? A song that lives up to it? Amazingly, this succeeds.

4. Kate Bush - Hammer Horror

In which Kate romances both the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Invisible Man (judging by the video which is both sexy and scary).

3. Peter, Paul & Mary - If I Had A Hammer

Written by Pete Seeger back in 1949, this was recorded by everyone from Trini Lopez to Sam Cooke to Leonard Nimoy (not entirely logical, though the video is entertaining). However, the version above is probably the most historic, as performed by Peter, Paul & Mary during the Civil Rights March on Washington DC in 1963.

See also If I Had A Hammer by American Music Club which steals the title for entirely different purposes.

2. Queen - Hammer To Fall
Every night and every day, a little piece of me is falling away.
Stone cold classic.
Give it to me one more time!
1. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer

Not only one of the best videos of the 80s, but one of the best pop songs to boot.

Plus, it always reminds me of the excellent David Rasche... Detective Sledge Hammer.

Which would be your honey bee?


  1. I thought there was a Go West song about a hammer/hammering but when I Google it, all I get is links to West Ham :-( Really enjoyed the Huey Lewis though

    1. I'm thinking of subtitling this blog "The Huey Lewis Appreciation Society".

  2. As the pan pipes drift across the cooling air, she dons her monteras ......

    'I'd rather be a hammer than a na-a-a-il, yes I would'

    I know, I know they never qualify but you'd miss me

    ....oh yes you would.

    1. If only I could, I surely would.

      Good call.

    2. Oh yes...Simon and Garfunkel...

  3. Cypress Hill - Cock The Hammer. I thank you.

    1. Go on, admit it, Steve - that's from your Top Ten Cock Songs, isn't it?

    2. You know me so well...

  4. how about "The Legend of John Henry's Hammer" by Johnny Cash?

    Love seeing Maxwell on this list, and you had a good choice for number one!

  5. The Legend of John Henry's Hammer is sadly missing from all of my 17 JC albums. I must try harder.

    If I could have left Maxwell's Silver Hammer off this list, I would have done! ;-)

    1. I have it on my "At Folsom Prison" album, which I would assume you have, but have now just discovered that it wasn't part of the original track listing and was only added on the 1999 re-release.

    2. Ah - that'll explain it then.


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