Harrison: Vocals, guitar
John Lennon: Tape loops
Paul McCartney: Bass guitar
Ringo Starr: Tambourine
Henry Datyner: Violin
Eric Bowie: Violin
Norman Lederman: Violin
Ronald Thomas: Violin
John Underwood: Viola
Keith Cummings: Viola
Eldon Fox: Cello
Reginald Kilbey: Cello
September 19, 20 1968.
Beatles (The White Album)
later referred to Piggies as a "social comment,"
it's a humoristic observation of the establishment and the
upper classes. It's worth noting that George himself came
from a working class background, as did Paul and Ringo,
but Pigges, like Taxman,
is a humouristic account, perhaps with a dash of self-irony.
Harrison started writing the song in 1966, it was finnished
two years later, with lyric assistance from Lennon and Harrison's
mother Louise, who contributed with the line "damn
serial killer Charles Manson, leader of the Manson family,
made the song notorious in 1971 by painting "pig,"
"pigs" or "piggy" in his victims' blood.
One of the victims was also stabbed with knives and forks,
allegedly a reference to the last verse of the song.
of Piggies took two days and 12 takes, and some interesting
little details were added. Paul's bass line, for instance,
managed to evoke the sound of a pig grunting.
meanwhile, created a tape loop of pigs snorting and grunting,
using a tape from Abbey Road sound effects collection. It's
possible that the loops were used in combination with human
voices imitating pigs.
of hapsichord was pure improvosation. This had been set
up in the studio for a classical recording. However, when
the Beatles saw this instrument, they wanted to use it too.
the recording of Piggies, Harrison was playing through one
of his other new compositions; Something.
see the little piggies
crawling in the dirt
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt
to play around in
see 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
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 darn good whacking
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