Sunday, June 28, 2015

Songs from the Beatles' White Album: Piggies



Have you seen the little piggies 
Crawling in the dirt
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their sties with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner 
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.



Written by George Harrison as a criticism of the upper crust, the Beatles having come from very humble beginnings. It was released in 1968

Harrison's mother provided the line "What they need's a damn good whacking”.

John Lennon contributed the line "clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.” That line replaced "Clutching forks and knives to cut their pork chops". 

John Lennon had the idea for the addition of pig sounds. He does not play on this song.

There was an extra verse not included in the recording:
"Everywhere there's lots of piggies playing piggie pranks
You can see them on their trotters
At the piggy banks
Paying piggy thanks
To thee pig brother."

Piggies is sandwiched between 2 other animal songs, “Blackbird” and Rocky Raccoon.”

Charles Manson believed that the Beatles were speaking to him through the White Album and that “Piggies” was a direction to attack the white establishment. 

Manson interpreted "piggies" to mean members of the Establishment. He saw the song as telling him that the Establishment needed "a damn good whacking." Manson frequently quoted the line referring to the need for a "whacking."

When his followers slaughtered Sharon Tate, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969, they used the blood of their victims to write “political piggy”, “pig” and “death to pigs” on the walls. Knives and forks were used to kill the LaBiancas, a reference to "Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon". Rosemary LaBianca received 41 knife wounds, Leno LaBianca received 12 knife wounds and 7 fork wounds. 
In the book Helter Skelter, author Vincent Bugliosi said he was not given permission by Harrison to quote lyrics from the song.

Manson then and now

In 2014, aged 80

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