Meaning of “Square Hammer” by Ghost

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Square Hammer” by Ghost is a tantalizing ride through occult symbolism and moral questioning. In essence, the song plays like a conversation between the listener and a mysterious, perhaps malevolent, force. Are you on the “square” and on the “level,” meaning, are you certain in your beliefs and convictions? It dares you to swear allegiance, “right here, right now, before the devil.” This song isn’t necessarily about a person but more like an existential query turned into a high-octane rock anthem. It’s about confronting your beliefs, your fears, and your own place in the universe.

Want to dig deeper into this mysterious, heart-thumping song? Stick around for an in-depth look at what makes “Square Hammer” a rock anthem with spiritual echoes.

“Square Hammer” Lyrics Meaning

“Living in the night, ‘Neath heavens torn asunder.” The song opens with a portrayal of a world in chaos or transition. It’s a setting where established norms—whether they’re religious, moral, or societal—are being questioned.

“You call on me to solve a crooked rhyme.” Here, the song introduces a second party, presumably the listener, calling upon this mysterious force for answers. The “crooked rhyme” could symbolize life’s complex problems or ethical dilemmas that don’t have straightforward solutions.

“As I’m closing in, Imposing on your slumber, You call on me as bells begin to chime.” This paints an image of urgency. The mysterious force is closing in, and time is running out. The chimes could indicate that a significant moment or decision is near.

Now, the chorus—”Are you on the square? Are you on the level?” This is the crux of the song. The square and the level are tools used by masons, but here they symbolize moral and ethical alignment. It’s asking if you’re honest, transparent, and “on the level” with yourself and the universe. Are you ready to make a big commitment?

“Hiding from the light, Sacrificing nothing, Still you call on me for entrance to the shrine.” This part serves as a critique. Many people claim to seek higher truths or want to be part of something bigger, but are they willing to make the necessary sacrifices?

“Hammering the nails, Into a sacred coffin, You call on me for powers clandestine.” The imagery here shifts toward the darker aspects of seeking power or knowledge at potentially great personal or moral cost. It begs the question: What are you willing to give up or who are you willing to become for the answers or powers you seek?

Why Was “Square Hammer” Written?

Ghost is known for delving into themes that challenge traditional belief systems, often using religious and occult symbolism. At the time this song was written, the band was on a quest to push the boundaries of rock music by incorporating these deep, thought-provoking themes. This wasn’t just another rock song for the radio; it was meant to challenge the listener, to provoke thought and perhaps even self-discovery. It’s a bold move, using catchy hooks and choruses to dig into the human psyche and moral questioning. The state of mind the songwriter was in could be described as one of exploration, pushing the envelope to create something that’s not just entertaining but also deeply engaging on a philosophical level.