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The below write-up refers to the second track of A Perfect Circle's debut album, Mer de Noms. The lyrics will not be reprinted in their entirety here, but can be found at any of the twelve billion lyrics sites online that don't care about copyrights.

Maynard James Keenan is making a dual point about obsession with this song. The modern name "Magdalena" comes from the name of Mary Magdalen, so called because she was from Magdala, a village on the sea of Galilee. In a more modern light, the term "Magdalen" is a flowery way to call a woman a whore, stemming from the notion that Mary Magdalen was a whore (a notion not actually expressed in the Bible). The word "Magdala" in Hebrew means "tower" or "high altar". When Keenan says,

I'd sell my soul
My self esteem a dollar at a time
For one chance, one kiss, one taste of you
My Magdalena

He is not only suggesting an exchange of sex for money, but he is also implying worship. He calls her both his whore and his altar. This could be interpreted as his worship of her, or of her sex, or of the confusion so many of us go through so often in relationships, the tearing inside when one is in love with a person he or she cannot respect. To call her a "Black Madonna" strengthens the notion of sex-worship. He also calls her a "moving temple", "holiest of altars", and "goddess". Clearly he is well aware of the dual meaning the name "Magdalena" has. This is a work of genius in language twisting and word-wizardry, yet another example of why Maynard is clearly one of the great minds of rock and roll.

I learned the meaning of the name from a friend named Magdalena, however, this information (well, some of it) is available at:

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