Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: The White AlbumReleased: 1968
George Harrison wrote this song as a takedown of the upper crust, who he felt could be greedy and slovenly. The Beatles were already rich and famous, but came from very humble beginnings - Harrison grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool.
Harrison intended this as social commentary, but many people interpreted it as an anti-police anthem. Charles Manson, in his very disturbed mind, thought the term "damn good whacking" meant against the American police. During the murders of Sharon Tate, the LaBianca's and others, knives and forks were used to stab them because these utensils were mentioned in the song. The words "pig and piggy," were written with the victims' blood on the walls. Harrison was horrified when he learned his song took on another meaning.
John Lennon did not play on this, but he improved this slightly with the line, "Clutching forks and knives they eat their bacon" - adding a touch of cannibalism to the proceedings. This replaced the line, "Clutching forks and knives to cut their pork chops" which can be heard on Anthology 3
. The pig noises were his idea.
This keeps the animal theme between "Blackbird" and "Rocky Raccoon" on The White Album.
There was an extra verse that wasn't included on the song. It goes:
"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."
Harrison's mother Louise contributed the line: "What they need is a damn good whacking."