Pigs on the Wing

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"Pigs on the Wing"
Pigs on the Wing - French promo single (320).jpg
Promotional French single, "Pigs on the Wing" backed with an edit of "Sheep"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album Animals
Published Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
Released
  • 23 January 1977 (1977-01-23) (UK)
  • 2 February 1977 (1977-02-02) (US)
Recorded November 1976
Genre Folk
Length
  • 2:50 (put together)
  • 1:25 (each)
  • 3:25 (8-track version)
Label
Writer Roger Waters
Producer Pink Floyd
Animals track listing

"Pigs on the Wing" is a two-part song by progressive rock band Pink Floyd from their 1977 concept album Animals, starting and wrapping up the album.[1] According to various interviews, it was written by Roger Waters as a declaration of love to his new wife Lady Carolyne Christie. This song is significantly different from the other three songs on the album, "Dogs", "Pigs", and "Sheep" in that the other songs are dark, whereas this one is lighter-themed.[1]

Composition[edit]

The song is divided into two parts, which are the first and last tracks of the album.[1] Both are in stark contrast to the album's middle three misanthropic songs, and suggest that companionship can help us overcome our flaws. Roger Waters apparently refers to himself as a "dog" in Part 2:[2] "Now that I've found somewhere safe to bury my bone/And any fool knows, a dog needs a home/A shelter, from pigs on the wing." Another allusion is found in the line "So I don't feel alone, or the weight of the stone", which refers back to the dogs being "dragged down by the stone". Without the track on Animals, Waters thought the album "would have just been a kind of scream of rage".[2]

According to Nick Mason, and confirmed by Waters, it is a love song directed towards Waters' new wife at the time, Carolyne. She was really the only one of Waters' friends he had ever met who could hold her own in an argument with Waters; according to Mason you had to be very good with semantics to win an argument against Waters. Waters wrote the song because that's all he had been looking for all along: someone who could stand up to him, an equal. Carolyne, later noted by Waters, could not understand the strength, and consequently, the beauty he saw in her. The former piece of the song conveys a theme of despondency and isolation imposed upon the individual resulting from the societal pressures which work to separate the masses, a theme developed in the proceeding track, "Dogs". Waters conveys a hopeful theme in the latter portion of the song, illustrating the strength and emotional safety as a result of unity among individuals, a safety Waters felt quickly upon meeting Carolyne.[3]

The songs are constructed simply and feature no instrumentation besides a strummed acoustic guitar played by Waters.[1]

On the 8-track cartridge release, the song order was changed, and Parts 1 and 2 were played back-to-back at the beginning of the album, linked by a guitar solo.[4] The guitar solo was performed by Snowy White. Snowy would later play the guitar solo in live performances on the 1977 In the Flesh Tour.[1] The complete version of the song, including the instrumental bridge, was re-released on Snowy White's Goldtop compilation album in 1995.[1]

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mabbett 2010
  2. ^ a b Schaffner 2005, p. 217
  3. ^ Schaffner 2005, p. 219
  4. ^ a b Schaffner 2005, p. 216
Bibliography
  • Mabbett, Andy (2010). Pink Floyd – The Music and the Mystery. London: Omnibus. ISBN 9781849383707. 
  • Schaffner, Nicholas (2005). "Pigs on the Wing". Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (New ed.). London: Helter Skelter. ISBN 1-905139-09-8.