Pigs (Three Different Ones)
"Pigs (Three Different Ones)" is a song from Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals. In the album's three parts, "Dogs", "Pigs" and "Sheep", pigs represent the people whom Roger Waters considers to be at the top of the social ladder, the ones with wealth and power; they also manipulate the rest of society and encourage them to be viciously competitive and cut-throat, so the pigs can remain powerful.
|"Pigs (Three Different Ones)"|
Brazil promotional single
|Song by Pink Floyd|
|from the album Animals|
The song's three verses each presents a different "pig", the identities of which remain a subject of speculation[nb 1] because only the third verse clearly identifies its subject as being morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse, who is described as a "house proud town mouse" who has to "keep it all on the inside." In 1992, on the Westwood One radio special Pink Floyd : The 25th Anniversary Special, Roger Waters told Jim Ladd that the "Whitehouse" mentioned had nothing to do with the home of the U.S. President, the White House, after Ladd told Waters he interpreted the last verse as an attack on Gerald Ford, who was US president at the time the song was recorded.
Halfway through the song, David Gilmour uses a Heil talk box on the guitar solo to mimic the sound of pigs. This is the first use of a talk box by Pink Floyd. Gilmour also plays a fretless bass guitar, with a pick, doing two short, syncopated bass solos—one before the first verse, another before the third. When the final verse ends and a guitar solo emerges, the bass line moves into a driving eighth note rhythm, sliding up and down the E minor scale in octaves, beneath the chords of E minor and C major seventh. Roger Waters, usually the band's bassist, played a rhythm guitar track on the song instead.
Although it was not made available for commercial purchase, promotional copies were released in Brazil, albeit in an edited form of only four minutes and five seconds in length. In some cassette tape versions of the album, this song was divided into two parts after the first verse, fading out on side one and fading back in on side two, in order to minimize the total length of tape.
The normal length of the song performed live was roughly 17 minutes (some would top out at 20 minutes), compared with the album length of 11 minutes and 28 seconds. Live renditions basically followed the album version with a few notable differences: an extra guitar solo was played after the second verse, the talk-box solo on guitar was substituted with a Minimoog solo and to the coda were added a quiet Hammond-led section and a crescendo reprise of the guitar solo with aggressive drumming. Waters, who sang on both the studio and live versions of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)", also added his signature screams throughout live performances of this song during the 1977 tour.
While playing on the 1977 tour, Waters shouted a different number for each concert. This purportedly had the purpose of identifying bootleg recordings. Also, Snowy White would play bass guitar while Roger played rhythm electric guitar with his black with white pickguard Fender Stratocaster.
When this song was performed in Montreal on 6 July 1977, a disruptive fan angered Waters by throwing a beer bottle onto the stage. While the band played toward the climax of the song's jam section, Waters called the fan onto the stage through the microphone, then spat in his face after pretending to help him up. This concert, of which bootleg recordings exist, has been cited as a catalyst for Pink Floyd's next album, The Wall.
In 1987, on tour to promote his solo album Radio K.A.O.S., Waters performed a shortened version of the song, featuring only the first two verses and shorter guitar solos between them as part of an extended Pink Floyd medley.
The song remained in Waters' setlist for his 2017 Us + Them Tour, once again being played in its entirety and with the anti-Trump images ("Fuck Trump" was changed to "Trump Is a Pig" on later dates). Waters plays Gilmour's original bass parts rather than rhythm guitar. While the response to the anti-Trump images has been mostly positive, some fans at his shows have booed or even walked out during the song over their anger at the anti-Trump images and political message. Waters responded to the anti-Trump critics saying "I find it slightly surprising that anybody could have been listening to my songs for 50 years without understanding" and said to those critics if they didn't like what he was doing "go see Katy Perry or watch the Kardashians. I don't care." Waters also said that, due to his anti-Trump images, he lost sponsors such as American Express who refused to have their company associated with his shows.
- Roger Waters – lead and harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, tape effects, vocoder
- David Gilmour – lead guitars, fretless bass, talk box
- Richard Wright – Hammond organ, ARP String Synthesizer, grand piano, clavinet
- Nick Mason – drums, cowbell
- According to one interpretation, the first verse's "pig man" refers to businessmen in general (but see "Dogs"), whereas the second verse indirectly refers to conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, leader of the opposition at that time. This has also been suggested by Roger Waters himself in an interview.
- DeGagne, Mike. Pigs at AllMusic
- Blake 2008, pp. 243–244
- "Animals: Trivia and Quotes". BWP. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Guitar World, Issue #22
- "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" (Single label). Pink Floyd. CBS Records. 1977. GP-923.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Tarquini, Stefano. "The Roger Numbers Game". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
The drummer [Nick Mason], through his agent and friend, Ben Sutton, has answered me that the numbers shouted from Waters in 'Pigs' were to identify the bootlegs recordings (literally in the letter: 'The numbers in Pigs that you mentioned were ... to identify bootleg recordings!').
- Ellis, Wray (13 September 2008). "Pink Floyd - Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada, July 6th 1977". Brain Damage. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- Maine, Samantha (5 August 2017). "Roger Waters tells anti-Trump tour critics to 'go see Katy Perry' instead". NME. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- Fitch, Vernon. The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (3rd edition), 2005. ISBN 1-894959-24-8