Pink Floyd – “Pigs on the Wing (Part One)” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Pigs on the Wing (Part One)” addresses human connection in a world of chaos. The lyrics convey a sentiment of finding solace in companionship, suggesting that amid life’s struggles and external threats (maybe those “pigs on the wing”), everyone seeks refuge. In the vast conceptual realm of Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album, this song stands out as an ode to the genuine care between individuals.

Curious about the layers beneath these lyrics? Pink Floyd’s masterful storytelling unfolds beautifully, and this tune is no exception.

“Pigs on the Wing (Part One)” Lyrics Meaning

“Pigs on the Wing (Part One)” sets the tone for Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album. With its stripped-back acoustic arrangement, the song contrasts starkly against the album’s other lengthy, and at times, aggressive compositions. The opening lines, “You know that I care / What happens to you,” instantly establish a bond of mutual care. While the rest of the album delves into societal critiques, this track offers a glimpse of hope and affection.

As we move through the lyrics, the sentiment deepens with, “So, I don’t feel alone on the weight of the stone.” Here, the ‘stone’ can symbolize life’s burdens, suggesting that companionship eases those burdens. The idea of finding a safe spot, as hinted in “found somewhere safe to bury my bone,” suggests a personal haven, away from societal pressures.

However, the closing lines are the most evocative: “A shelter from pigs on the wing.” In the context of the “Animals” album, ‘pigs’ represent the corrupt, powerful elites. So, this shelter, born from genuine care, serves as protection from external chaos and threats.

The Story Behind “Pigs on the Wing (Part One)”

Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album is a heady mix of progressive rock and sharp societal critique, heavily influenced by George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” The entire album, including “Pigs on the Wing (Part One),” was the brainchild of Roger Waters, the band’s primary songwriter during this era. During the mid-70s, Waters was growing increasingly disillusioned with the societal direction and the music industry. This sense of disillusionment, coupled with his observations of societal hierarchy and power dynamics, paved the way for “Animals.” While most of the tracks on the album are raw and aggressive, addressing the world’s coldness, “Pigs on the Wing (Part One)” is a tender exception.

This short acoustic number is often seen as Waters’ reflection on personal bonds, especially his relationship with his then-wife, Carolyne. It acts as an anchor in the stormy sea that is the “Animals” album. The song, in its essence, reminds listeners of the warmth of human connection in the face of cold societal structures.

Waters, known for his deep introspection, touches upon the idea that amid the vastness of societal critique and the bleakness of the world’s machinery, there’s a sliver of hope found in genuine human connection. It’s a reminder that even in the darkest of narratives, moments of genuine affection and understanding can shine the brightest.

Overall, this track, though brief, carries a profound message: amidst a world dominated by cold power dynamics, human connections remain our sanctuary. It’s a touching reminder of the importance of finding and cherishing those who truly care about us.