Roger Waters wrote this about Mary Whitehouse, a British woman who led a movement to keep sex off TV. He felt Whitehouse had no right to decide what other people should watch. Speaking to Mojo magazine Waters recalled:
"Oh, she was everywhere pontificating on TV. Interfering in everybody's life, making a nuisance of herself and trying to drag English society back to an age of Victorian propriety."
Along with dogs and sheep, pigs are one of 3 animals represented on the album. The pigs represent people, like Whitehouse, who feel they are the moral authorities. The sheep are the people who obey the pigs and believe that it is the "Christian" thing to do and are just your normal, hard working innocent bystanders. Dogs are people who are against the pigs and are back stabbers.
Suggestion credit: Lee - Durham, NC
The album cover shows a giant inflatable pig drifting above a London power station. During the shoot, the pig broke free, where it caused chaos as it floated near Heathrow airport. It went up about 18,000 feet before coming down in a farm in Kent. They never did get the shot, and ended up compositing 2 pictures for the cover.
The giant, inflatable pig became a part of Pink Floyd's live show, where it was brought out for this song. The pig became a point of contention when the band toured without Roger Waters - the new inflatable pig had testicles, which some fans interpreted as a stab at Waters.
When the band toured without Roger Waters in 1987, they used an inflatable pig that was altered to have a huge penis. The band claimed they did it because Waters had the original idea for the pig and they did not want him to sue for copyright infringement. Waters was furious when the band continued on after he left.
On the TV show South Park, Eric Cartman has quoted the line from this song, "Ha-ha, charade you are" on several episodes.
Suggestion credit: Bert - Pueblo, NM
OK, more on the pig - but this one is good: Roger Waters used an inflatable pig when he performed at the 2008 Coachella festival, this time the pig was emblazoned with the word "Obama" as Waters wanted to support the US presidential candidate. When Waters performed this song, the pig was released on cue, but broke free and floated away. Festival organizers offered lifetime passes and $10,000 cash for the pig's safe return. In was found a few miles away in two plastic heaps by some surprised homeowners in La Quinta.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
Mary Whitehouse was a famous name in the UK at the time the song was written. However, Waters admitted to Mojo that nobody listening to Animals in America had a clue who she was: He said: "Everybody in the United States assumed it was an attack on the president, on Washington, on the White House."
Glen Bo from New Egypt New JerseyI thought of it as big business- pigs are the top owners and care nothing about people only profit-- dogs work for the pigs sort of managers and will lie, stab , cheat, and abuse to help themselves which in turn helps the pigs. sheep are the abused cheated lied to - sheep are the prey which the dogs prey on for the source of income for whatever the big business is manufacturing and selling. thats in my mind when I hear this album.
Mike from AmericaThe song is not only about politics but human behavior as well. Pigs are the elite of society, the upper echelon, decision makers and providers of goods. Dogs are the mid-level, trying to get to the next step, doing whatever they have to to get there. Sheep are the low, passive, subservient that are the masses, content to stay on the bottom. The general concept of the album is to imagine the Sheep violently revolting against these ideas and reversing these roles.
Leah from IllinoisWell actually this song was based off of the book animal farm by George Orwell so if anything the dogs don't go against the pigs and whatnot they follow their orders in violent ways.
Drake from Huntington Beach, CaPigs= The government and its corrupted ways. 1st pig: government itself, 2nd pig: Margaret Thatcher & 3rd pig: Mary Whitehouse. Sheep= The people who are only simple calm bystanders, possibly the Christians. Dogs= Another group of bystanders, only more backstabbing and demandive.
Dave from St Paul, MnI think the first Pig is the government, telling all the Sheep to "keep on digging" while encouraging blind patriotism ("and when your hand is on your heart"). The second Pig is the police. Many, but not all, are petty bullies with power and guns abusing their power. The third Pig is obviously Mary Whitehouse and her peers: those who feel that they should dictate the morality of the public. Waters suggests that Whitehouse's fervent support of censorship and conservative values is due to a harsh and abusive childhood, where another generation of Pigs indoctrinated her with staunch conservative values, and told what to believe and how to feel. These Pigs manipulate and control the Dogs, backstabbing, heartless bankers and businessmen, who in turn rob the Sheep of every shred of individuality and money.
Gialloporpora from Treviso, ItalyThis is only my opinion. For me the song needs to be readed in the whole context of the album itselfs. The album is about music and Roger Waters describe himself like a dog (in the previous song Dogs). He describe himself as a dog because he have made money with music he became a rich capitalist after the success made with previous two albums (Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side Of The Moon). The three pigs are people who stop him from making good music or to convey his message to fans (sheeps). The first pig is, in this view, some producer or manager that use the band to make money, as a gold mine. The same concept threated also in Have a cigar and Welcome to the machine of the previous album (two songs, sheep and dogs, were to be included in Wish you were here).
Joe from Grants Pass, OrIt's quite amazing Roger almost kept his bass out of the mix (in and out ) !
Jack from Arcata, CaThe first pig is "The Man". The man is a patriotic figure "And when your hand is on your heart" (representing pledge of allegiance). with your head down in the pig bin, Saying "keep on digging" (watching over employees..citizens etc. telling them to keep on working and following there authority)
The second pig is referring to the police. You like the feel of steel (a cops love for the power he gets holding his gun). You're hot stuff with a hat pin (feeling like the "bees knees" because of the societal status/authority his uniform gives him) And good fun with a hand gun (a trigger happy police man who is just waiting to use his gun on someone)
The third pig is the government. Hey you Whitehouse, ha ha, charade you are (white house happens to be where the president lives) You house proud town mouse, ha ha, charade you are ( the government is proud of the society they are controlling) You're trying to keep our feelings off the street (government suppression, trying to keep our feelings of discontent in our heads rather than protesting them in public) And keep it all on the inside (basically keep all your concerns/troubles/rebellion to yourself)
"Ha, Ha Charade You Are" throughout the songs is referring to the public authorities disillusionment for what they do, acting as if society needs them and is they are beneficial somehow to mankind. The charade being that they are actually quite the opposite of that.
Joe from Brooklyn, NyI didn't see this mentioned so I like to add that I love the way David Gilmour uses the TalkBox in this song. I believe the only other song Gilmour uses it on would by years later on Keep Talking. If anyone knows of any other PF songs where Gilmour uses the TalkBox please pass along the info. Lastly, I'm old enough to have seen this song performed live in 1977 at Madison Square Garden and it really rocked out at the end.
Salmon from Vancouver, BcHey Mourad in Lebanon,
There may have been deliberate reference to sex, pistols or guns however you are overlooking the fact that The Sex Pistols band took their name from a British euphemism meaning male genitalia. To say Waters made a direct reference to the band The Sex Pistols is probably placing the cart before the horse.
Joey H from Fredericksburg, VaThis is an amazing song. its not mearly about modern politics, but rather than a governmental machine we're turning into, and how corrupt every govt (the US, the UK, Russia, Japan, etc.) is slowly becoming into the greedy disgusting, selfish pigs that we broke away from many times in history.
Javi D. from New York, NyGreatest Floyd song - those angry vocals by Waters are biting, bitter, and honest. Gimlour's solo? My favorite, and I will contend that the only solo that I've heard that can top this one is possibly Gilmour's first solo on "Dogs".
I know this is when Waters took control, but the song is fantastic and just all out kicks ass.
Verbalg from Bear Grass, IsraelThe song is about how religion taints everything and has divided the world. The three pigs are: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ha, Ha, charade you are.....
Michele from Nyc, NjI find it quiet fascinating that everyone points to the obvious reference of the government being the pigs and the lambs being those who fall under their dierison....however, did anyone EVER listen to MOTHER and think perhaps in some way the pig has some conotation to his mother? seems alomist subconsciously obvious and I'm not on any THC to make this profound call....is anybiody out there? just knod if you can hear me? is ther anyone at all?
Roger from St. Tampa, OnDogs are free market capitalists (business-men) Pig are the government Sheep are us, the general public (followers)
Jim from Long Beach, CaThis song is about when the police arrested fans at Pink Floyd in Los Angeles in 1975. They were "taking libeties" on the hippies using their powers to beat them and take their drugs..I remember hearing the report on the radio. I was 11.
Francesco from Rome, ItalyHi, the first pig doesn't refer to someone in particular, but some say it was the Labour prime minister of the time the song was written. The second one is none other than Margaret Thatcher, conservative party leader of the time (and a true gun-happy hypocritical fake Christian, not to mention an ugly bag of s***) and the third one is Mary Whitehouse.
Brendan from Mt. Airy, Mdand oldpink.....Waters wasn't using sarcasm there,(even though I know he is a fan of sarcasm), but the lyrics really read "Mary you're nearly a treat"
Brendan from Mt. Airy, MdHey Chloe, charade is pretty much a person who is phoney, a fake, a deceiver. A quality of all Pigs
Chloe from St. Louis, Moanother thing- am I the only one that has absolutely no idea what "ha ha, charade you are!" means?
Chloe from St. Louis, Monice metaphor, trey from mt. god, people, dont try to make this about specific people- 'this one's bush, this one's mccain,' yada yada yada. the Pigs are just supposed to be The Man. plain and simple.
Oldpink from New Castle, InSome of Roger's most sarcastic lyrics, especially the "Mary, you're really a treat/Mary, you're really a treat, but you're really a cry" Historical note: On July 6, 1977, in Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada, as they were performing this, Roger became so enraged by the audience's rowdy behavior that he hacked a lunger on a fan attempting to scale the barrier around the stage. You can even hear Roger taunt the guy on "unofficial" recordings from that night. That incident inspired Roger to compose the following album, "The Wall," which is about a rock star's growing alienation and isolation from his fans and from life in general.
Kenneth from Pensacola, FlThis is an amazing song. Hearing about Waters putting the message Fu** Bush and Obama on the pig dissapoints me though. I hate it when musicians and celebrities use there fame to impose their beliefs on others, especially me being a conservative which I am probably the only one on this page. Also I read the book Animal Farm and this whole album MUST have had inspiration from it. Great song, great album, great band.
Brad from Lexington, KyYes, the 3rd verse refers to mary whitehouse explicitly, it even uses her name ( Hey! You Whitehouse. Ha ha charade you are!) but I feel it couldve been written about 3 different pigs. They are George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin.
Trey from Kalamazoo, MtThis song is so awesome if you stabbed it with a knife, it would create a supernova and you would die of your injuries several weeks later in the ICU of some run down hospital.
Whit from Sunshine City,Roy, Lisa is entirely aware of what she's speaking. Orwell stood as author for both Animal Farm and 1984.
Roy from Granbania, MaLisa from Toronto, the book you are referring to is actually Animal Farm by George Orwell, and yes, this album was inspired to a certain extent by that book.
Tim from Houston, Txthe pigs represent greedy people,no one specific
Rj from Campbellcroft, OnThis song is incredible, along with the rest of the album. Try listening to it when you're high or tripping balls and if you don't yet understand how the Animals album is so amazing you will after blaring it, high on something. Lol.
Dogma from Alexandria, LaAccording to Nick Mason's book there was a marksman with a rifle standing by to shoot the pig down should the tether break. There's even a picture of the marksman in the book. The weather was too bad the first day and when the photoshoot started the next day no one noticed that the marksman hadn't shown up and...well...the rest is history--the pig broke free!!!!!!
Lisa from Toronto, CanadaWow, from reading the description about what each animal represents, this album reminds me A LOT of the book 1984 by George Orwell. In the book the "pigs" would be the Party leaders who are in control and force everyone to confine to them. The "Sheep" are the ones in the book who obey all of the leader's orders and are brain-washed into obeying "Big Brother" and finally the "dogs" are people like Winston and Julia who revolt against the party and plan a way to corrupt it. Anyone who has read 1984 will probably get what I'm saying...
Josh from Great Yarmouth, EnglandNo one has answered Danny's question so I'll do it. It's from Season 5, and the episode is Scott Tenerman Must Die. A great episode. Go to Southparkzone.com to watch it.
Daniel from Perth, AustraliaMan, I love this song. Probably the best on the album and one of Waters' overall best. The first lines of each verse (...Ha ha, charade you were) are brilliant.
Scott from Portland, OrThis song is literally cut in half on the Columbia cassette release -- it fades out on side one and fades back in on the flip side. Columbia did not waste money on the releases of even their top selling artists. And yes, Waters owns the "flying pig" concept. The Waterless Pink Floyd had to pay him royalties for flying it in their concerts and specifically include him in the Delicate Sound of Thunder DVD credits for it (look at the very very VERY end).
Danny from Brockton, Mai saw roger waters in september 06. the pig was also part of the show. one of the messages on the pig was "f**k bush". i agree! anyone else agree?
Danny from Brockton, Mato phil:
do you know what season that episode is from?
Phil from Jamestown, Nyby the way, the giant pig is STILL part of roger waters's show. i just say him july 12, 2007 in darien lake, ny. the pig was massive and allowed to move throughout the audience. written on its body were political messages aimed at u.s. torture of prisoners at gitmo bay, among others.
Phil from Jamestown, Nyto danny from brockton, MA. i'm not sure of the name of the episode, but it's the one where they try to go back in time using timmy's wheelchair as the time travelig vehicle.
Danny from Brockton, Main what south park episodes did cartman use the quote?
Achory from Warner Robins, Galook people, those who think this album has nothing to do with the book animal farm by gearge orwell are stupid. the idea for the album is loosely based on the basic idea in the book. first of all, roger waters said so himself. second of all, the three main groups of animals in both are pigs, sheep and dogs. now that i've gotten that out of my system, i feel that the music for thsi song is the best on the album, but lyrically, sheep is better.
Wade from Vancouver, CanadaTo everyone who says this album is 'based on Animal Farm': The pigs in Animal Farm ARE NOT all greedy. Animal Farm is a metaphor for the story of the Russian Revolution. The first leaders were communist 'idealists' that truly wanted the best for their country, but after that leaders came to power who were just in it for the power, and the same thing happens in Animal Farm. Both Animal Farm and Animals use farm animals as metaphors for political issues, but Animal Farm is about Soviet Russia, while Animals is about Roger Waters' views on politics, etc. He may have read Animal Farm and been inspired by it, but he by no means ripped it off or anything. Great song!
Mourad from Lebanon, OtherI am a really big Floyd fan! Love them more than anything, especially Roger Waters -the creative genius of Pink Floyd-. I think the best 5 Pink Floyd's and which are a must to have are: Dark Side At The Moon,Wish You Were Here,Animals,The Wall and The Final Cut. But I want to refer to something that is that the second pig in the song is meant to be the band "The Sex Pistols" who were one of the first bands to play Punk Rock around that time(1977). You can see that in the lyrics: *You're hot stuff with a hat pin = (Sex) *And good fun with a hand gun = (Pistols) Thank you...and in case I'm wrong, I'd be pleased to know about it. Shine On!!!
P.S.: Roger, Thank you for playing "Leaving Beirut" in your tour. You Rock!!!
Daniel from Cincinnatti, OrIn the movie Children of Men, A building that looks Extremely similar to the power station on the cover is used as the Ministry of Art or something. It's even Got the Pig.
Chris from Vancouver, CanadaThe cover shot was at the Battersea Power Station in Wandsworth,London right by the Thames River. I love the fade out of Pigs (Three Different Ones) with David Gilmour's crazy guitar riffs and the crazy drumming by Nick Mason.
Bryan from New York, NyOne of the reasons that Orwell's Animal Farm and Floyd's Animals are so similar is because of the natural connotations that go along w/ all these different albums. It's neither coincidental nor entirely based on Animal Farm.
Vas from Madras, IndiaThe inflated pig that flew up the skies in the Waters gig of Feb 2007 in Bombay, India had "Kafka rules", "get rid of the caste system" and "Impeach Bush now" written on it.
Rhcpguy from Arroyo Grande, Caif anyone has ever seen or read Animal Farm, it has just about the same meaning of this song. The pigs are the cruel overlords, the dogs are the law enforcers, and the sheep are the pedestrians taht follow the crowd and do what they're told.
Jackson from Windsor, CanadaThe first pig refers to the corporate world. Its a relation to the Dogs that became Pigs. They thrive on success and political power.
Eran from Tel Aviv, Israel"Pigs" is definatly my favorite pink floyd song of them all , I still do not know to whom the first pig reffers to , but it is pretty obvious the second one is reffering to Margaret Thatcher , or to some other woman , as Waters saying " You (deleted) up old hag " , meaning a Witch ... 3rd one is definatly reffering To Mary whitehouse , and ive seen Waters preforms half a year ago and was praying that he would sing this song .. but i suppose that since Whitehouse is no longer alive he will never preform it ever again ...
Voodoocat from Zimbabwe, United StatesThis is my all-time favorite song by Pink Floyd, no contest at all. "Have a Cigar" is my second favorite. (Ironically, I do not like the songs "Dogs" or "Sheep")
Kevin from Southington, CtPink Floyd did actually take pictures of the inflatable pig while it was in the air hanging from the factory but they didn't use any of the pictures because they didn't like the way the sky looked in any of them. They ended up taking a picture without the pig and then adding the pig from one of the other pictures. David Gilmour did play bass on this song as he did on a few other songs including "Hey You".
Tom from Norman, OkHmm, surprised no one has mentioned this yet. Pig #2 is supposed to be Margaret Thatcher, whose politics Waters obviously did not agree with. At all. "Good fun with a handgun" is basically saying he wants to shoot her. Waters has said as much many times.
Frankie from Engine, InI always thought they said "I should ride you out" instead of "Ha, ha charade you are"
Mitchell from Redding, CaAfter reading the book, Animal Farm, I instantly knew that this Pink Floyd song (actually the whole album "Animals"0 was based on the themes of George Orwell's powerful book. For example, the pigs are greedy, control-hungry dictators who take advantage of their power. This is expressed in the song, and it's is a glimpse of what happens in a society where dictators take over. This song is awesome and very powerful.
Jeanette from Irvine, Cainteresting point double, tif town. i wouldn't agree for this album, but i think that idea does come out in dark side of the moon.
Bill from Erie, PaJust to clear a few things up: 1) This song is not only about Mary Whitehouse. In fact, it describes 3 pigs (hence, the name). The first is likely a minister, who by Waters' description is fat and lives off the contributions of his parishoners, but doesn't give them anything in return. The second pig is a gun-happy person who considers themselves Christian, but is extremely intolerant towards other people. The third is Whitehouse. Also, the songfact on the nature of the pigs, dogs and sheep is incorrect. Pigs are "Christian" moral crusaders who really care only about themselves, their wealth and prestige. Sheep are normal, everyday people who follow the Pigs because they don't know any better. Dogs are cutthroat businessmen, who are not necessarily "against" the pigs at all. In the USA, in fact, the Pigs and Dogs are good friends.
Maurice from Philly, PaI reference to "Old Major was Lenin, the founder of Communism", Lenin did not found Communism. Karl Marx founded it, but called it Marxism. Among other things, he theorized that the working classes would overthrow the middle class,who overthrew the Aristocis in the French Revolution. The working class is like the sheep and they will over take the pigs and dogs and form their own government. Please note that Marxism failed.
Jeanette from Irvine, Cai can see where part of it might be inspired by "animal farm" but it's not exactly the same message so it's certainly not based on it. thats what i think anyway.
Ash from Charleston, WvI actually think I would rank them as follows: #3 song on the album - "Pigs (3 Different Ones)." #2 song on the album - "Dogs." Best song on the album - "Sheep." But don't get me wrong. They're all freaking awesome.
Double from Tif Town, GaWow- who's listening? all the philosophic ideas but your missing the brick to the head. It doesn't matter if your a sheep a pig or a peacock, In the end, its the end. :dragged down by the stone.
Jason Lee from New York, NyThis album is clearly inspired by Orwell's Animal farm (as Waters has said), but it is not based on it. They both use the same tool (animal representation of humans), but they use it to portray different messages.
Kevin from Schaumburg, Ilactually, regarding the pig and the photo shoot, roger waters didn't want to do any trick photography or anything, he actually wanted to fly a giant pig and take an aerial photo. the first day they lost control of the pig due to winds and it flew away. they found it in a field of a farmer. but the farmer wouldn't let the crew on his property. so the crew went in at night and stole the pig, and the next day they got the shot.
also, the cover is the battersea power station. closed at the time and now, it was a symbol of england's crumbling government.
Whitey from Aktown, Ohgreat song and album very underated song and album must for the floyd fan
Michael from Kearny, NjRoger Waters said in an interview that the animals represent the class system in Britain. Pigs being the wealthy upper class, who make their fortunes off of the blood and sweat of the working class (the sheep, or are born into wealth. The dogs, of course are the white collar middle and upper-middle class business types. The original idea for this album WAS LOOSELY inspired by George Orwell's "Animal Farm"(Waters has said this himself).
Spencer from Fixing A Holewell put wesley. plus, anyone telling other Floyd fans what to think obviously hasn't really absorbed the true meaning they're trying to get accross.
Brian from Saco, Methis is probably the most underrated cd by pink floyd, this song in particular is my favorite off the cd, yet it never got very popular. pink floyd allways had ways of getting there ideas in a song, this cd truly shows how hard they worked to put realism and creativity to prove that.
Jonny from Newark, NjIt's one of Roger Waters' best lyrics, but the amazing bass on this song is actually played by David Gilmour.
Christopher from Nashville, UtIn the beginning of the song is the first Pig, the upper class business man who probably owns a gigantic business, and explains how fake these people can be, and how they're always trying to make money. The second Pig refers to, in my oppinion, the upper class in small cities and towns, and if your from a small town like me then you know exactly what I am talking about. Old ladies who think they're too good and know everything, and their beliefs are the right ones. The third Pig refers to Mary Whitehouse, who tryed to keep, in her oppinion, vulgar scenes off t.v. in Great Britian. She also picked on the band for their concepts, and because of their drug use.
Cristian from Brentwood, CanadaAll of you out there that listen to Pink Floyd as much as I do (6-10hours/day) know that Roger Waters has a very interesting voice, he has around five completly diferent voices its like WOW when you hear him singing the first part of "one of my turns" and then listen to pigs (three diferent ones) which would be one of my favorite songs by him. The point I'm trying to get accross is that the members of Pink Floyd are all great...... P.S those out there who think dogs or pigs on the wing or sheep is the best song on the album are defenitly wrong.
Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaNothing at all to do with 'Animal Farm' (except there are animals representing different types of people in both). It's about self-righteous moralizers. One of David Gilmour's best solos at the end, and some of Roger Water's best bass work too.
Alex from Town, CtI'm sorry, this has nothing to do with George Orwell's Animal Farm. That's just stupid. They both paint Pigs as the greedy animals, but that's where the similarities end. It's obvious this album is based on some of the dirty dealings and greed inspired by Western Capitalism. Animal Farm was a book criticizing Russian Communism. Old Major was Lenin, the founder of Communism. The two pigs after (Snowball and Napoleon I believe) were supposed to be Stalin and Trotsky. They worked together at first, but eventually Napoleon (Stalin) ran Snowball (Trotsky) out and in real life he was killed in Mexico. As you can see Animal Farm is clearly about Russian Communism during the mid-1900s, and I think it's obvious that the album Animals is NOT.
Reed from Hagerstown, Inthis entire album is based on orwell's book 'animal farm.' if you have ever read the book, then you know exactly what im talking about.
Bob from Boca Raton, FlIronically, Roger Waters does not eat pork.
Brett from Watertown, Sd"Animals" is an amazing album.
Bob from Lincoln, Nei think they read Gorge Orwells book animal farm before doin this it has similar themes
Brian from Paoli, InI love this song, one of the best song sung by Waters.
Matt from Russell Springs, KyThis is song is pretty badass, IMHO. I beg to differ with those who believe "Dogs" is the best song from "Animals". I think that distinction belong with the excellent guitar work and lyrics featured here.
Chris from Hamilton, New ZealandWhen the giant pig broke free near Heathrow airport, a pilot of an incomming flight happend to see it. Poor bugger reported over the air. apparrently the ground control crew were in fits of laughter when they heard a report of a giant flying pink pig!
Lee from Durham, NcThe Album "Animals" was based on front man, roger water's point of view on what society is about. The Pigs are the goverment workers and people with high power,athority, and greed. The sheep are the people who obay the pigs and believe that it is the "christian" thing to do and are just your normal, hard working innocent bystandards. Dogs are people who are against the pigs and are backstabbers.