Pigs (Three Different Ones) | Animals – Pink Floyd

A song about people who feel they are the moral authorities of society, considered to be at the top of the "social ladder".

Today is the second episode of our Sounds from the Bucket series dedicated to Animals.

Loosely based on George Orwell‘s political fable Animal Farm, the album’s lyrics describe various classes in society as different kinds of animals: the combative dogs, despotic ruthless pigs, and the mindless and unquestioning herd” of sheep.

The album is composed by four songs and five tracks. Our first episode two weeks ago, talked about the first song of the album, Dogs.

Today we talk about Pigs (Three Different Ones), written by Roger Waters.

In the album’s three parts, pigs represent the people considered to be at the top of the “social ladder”, wealthy and powerful, but which also manipulate the rest of the society and encourage them to be viciously competitive and cutthroat, so the pigs can remain powerful.

Each of the song’s three verses introduces a different “kind of pig”, whose identiy remains a matter of speculation. In fact, only the third verse clearly identifies its subject as morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse, a British woman who led a movement to keep sex off TV, who is described as a “house proud town mouse” who has to “keep it all on the inside.

Allegedly, the first verse depicts a deceitful businessman, the hypocritical and collusive self-proclaimed superior who feels he can cheat and persuade his way to the top, while the second verse might refer to the up-and-coming political figure Margaret Thatcher, who was at that time a leading member of England’s Conservative Party but eventually came into power as Britain’s Prime Minister.

An odd story involves the pig on the album’s cover, a giant inflatable pig drifting above a London power station. During the shoot, the pig broke free, causing chaos as it floated near Heathrow airport. It went up about 18,000 feet before coming down in a farm in Kent. They never got the shot and ended up compositing two pictures for the cover.

Big man, pig man
Ha, ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel
Ha, ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying ‘Keep on digging’
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find
Down in the pig mine?
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry

Bus stop rat bag
Ha, ha, charade you are
You fucked up old hag
Ha, ha, charade you are
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel
You’re hot stuff with a hatpin
And good fun with a hand gun
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry

Hey you, White House
Ha, ha, charade you are
You house proud town mouse
Ha, ha, charade you are
You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street
You’re nearly a real treat
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?
You got to stem the evil tide
And keep it all on the inside
Mary you’re nearly a treat
Mary you’re nearly a treat
But you’re really a cry

Pigs (Three Different Ones) | Animals – Pink Floyd
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Sounds from the Bucket
Marco Principia

Born in Rome, his beloved city. Graduated with honors in Political Science and International Relations at Università degli Studi "Roma Tre". Expert of current affairs and United Nations. Recently attended a course in Humanitarian Emergency at INTERSOS. Currently employed at CIES - ONLUS in the Coordination and Organization Office for Interpreting and Translation Service for Territorial Commissions for the Recognition of International Protection. Huge fan of A.S. Roma.
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