Highly Appreciated

“Piggies”  is a song by the English rock group the Beatles from their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”).  Written by George Harrison as a social commentary, the song serves as an Orwellian satire on greed and consumerism.  Among several elements it incorporates from classical music, the track features harpsichord and orchestral strings in the baroque pop style, which are contrasted by Harrison’s acerbic lyrics and the sound of grunting pigs.  Although credited to George Martin, the recording was largely produced by Chris Thomas, who also contributed the harpsichord part.  Since its release in November 1968, “Piggies” has received mixed responses from music critics.  While some reviewers admire its musical qualities and recognise sardonic humour in the lyrics, others consider the song to be mean-spirited and lacking in subtlety.  Harrison’s demo of the song, recorded at his home in Surrey, was included on the Beatles’ 1996 compilation Anthology 3.  A live version by Harrison, reinstating a verse that was omitted from the studio recording, appears on his 1992 album Live in Japan.  (More from Wikipedia)

But it was on The Beatles (“the White Album”) where George Harrison really shone both as a performer and as a songwriter.  By contrast, much of the Lennon/McCartney material were story songs about animals – Harrison also wrote one of these, “Piggies” – and throwaways like “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road”.  


The other George Harrison songs on The Beatles are all standout cuts on the album and illustrate the variety that George has brought in his songwriting all along:  Piggies, “Long, Long, Long”, and “Savoy Truffle”.  
Many rock critics have noted that the sheer length of All Things Must Pass – the triple LP (including the bonus disk Apple Jam) that George Harrison released after the Beatles broke up – showed the volume of excellent Harrison compositions that never made it onto any Beatles albums.  Eric Clapton was one of the key musicians in those recording sessions; the two also co-wrote one of my favorite songs by CreamBadge

(June 2015)


Last edited: March 22, 2021