In the folk song "If I Had a Hammer" by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, there's a recurring set of lyrics regarding the hammer, bell, and song that go like this:
And I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
Similar lines are given for the bell that would "ring out" and the song that would "sing out". Now a recurring confusion for me since I was a child was how the lines are meant to be read. My initial understand, as a child, was that it was the removal of said items since dangers and warnings were bad things, and ever since my parents explained what incest was (I honestly don't remember the context, but my parents were big on answering any question given to them to the best of their ability no matter how awkward or odd), I knew that love between brothers and sisters was a bad thing. Later, as an adult, I realized that the love was meant to be a more platonic or familial love, and not necessarily about blood relations, and I also learned that the one line generally read "hammer out a warning" rather than "hammer out warning", so it was more signaling those things. Alternately, I can see where they could be using different versions so that maybe you're getting rid of danger by hammering it out, sending out a warning by hammering it out, and spreading love by singing it out.
Is there a canonical meaning to the lyrics, perhaps by the Weavers or the original folk hymns they based it on?