Saturday 26 September 2015

My Top Ten Pig Songs

In a change to the advertised Top Ten (we'll get back to Gene songs next week), here's a Top Ten for Number 10. You might call it schadenfreude... I call it just desserts. But then, I'm from Yorkshire, and as Dodgy Dave will tell you... we hate everyone.

10. The Beatles - Piggies

I thought long and hard about whether to include this one. The White Album is my favourite Beatles LP (on the days I don't prefer Abbey Road) and George is my favourite Beatle, so theoretically I should like it. In truth though, the lyrics sound like they've been written by a 6th Former who's read Animal Farm and is just discovering that people are pretty shitty... which is probably why the song was quoted by Charles Manson as justification for the murders of Sharon Tate et al.

In the end, I was swayed to give it a mention by the wag who has added the following line to its iffypedia entry this week...

"This is British Prime Minister David Cameron's favourite Beatles song."

I wonder how long before that gets edited out?

(Plus, Piggies is better than Pink Floyd.)

9. Green Jelly - Three Little Pigs 

What can I say...? I have a soft spot for ludicrous cartoon metal songs based on nursery rhymes, especially when their videos are made out of plasticine. Shoot me.

8. Canned Heat - Sic 'Em, Pigs

Despite being critical of my good friends in the Los Angeles Police Department, this hippie blues boogie from my Best of Canned Heat album wins a place on the chart (beating out fine contenders such as Black Sabbath, Nine Inch Nails, The Cocteau Twins, Jane's Addiction and Nina Simone) because it's the only pig song I own in which the singer performs pig snorts as part of his vocal - pretty authentic ones, too.  

This track was banned by many US radio stations as it ends with a mock recruitment call to join the LAPD in which one of the band reads out the copshop's actual phone number... which is a cool bit of hippy protest nonsense the Dude would be proud of.

7. Elvis Costello & The Brodsky Quartet - Swine

Big Elv's dalliance with "classical" music worked better than expected. Here, he lets the Brodsky Quartet do most of the heavy lifting before going off on what sounds like a typically vicious lyrical rant... although, apparently, he didn't write those lyrics alone: the quartet chipped in with all the words on this album, a series of letters to Juliet Capulet, of which this is probably the nastiest.
You're a swine
And I'm saying
That's an insult to the pig...
6. The Sir Douglas Quintet - Bacon Fat

Class old rock 'n' roll number - if in doubt, invent a wacky dance and name it after a favourite foodstuff. Doug Sahm had a surprisingly long career (this is the only one of his songs I own, but it's not even mentioned on the band's lengthy iffypedia discography), though it appears he only had one actual hit (1966's She's About A Mover - also worth a listen if you have the time). 

5. Arab Strap - Piglet

Philophobia is arguably the best Arab Strap album even if it does leave you feeling like you need a good wash after listening to it. Here, Aidan Moffat details what happens when he looks through his girlfriend's copy of Winnie The Pooh while she's in the shower... and discovers a terrible truth she's been hiding. Things go pretty bad from there and the song ends with one of the bitterest put downs ever committed to vinyl / digital media. 
And when we were with your friends 
I just as might as well have been no one. 
And you can't get over your dead dog 
Well, it takes one to know one.
4. Meat Loaf - In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King

(Yes, but who's the Prime Minister?)

I'm still waiting on that new Meat / Steinman album that was promised earlier in the year. Here's one of their lesser collaborations: yes, it does sound a little Steinman-by-numbers with lines such as "they're the plugs and we're the sockets"... though apparently it was originally written for a Batman Musical he was involved with.

Can you imagine that? A Batman Musical sounds like a really bad idea (remember that dreadful Spider-Man one?)... unless you got Jim Steinman to compose the music. Then... it just might work, in a mad Tim Burton-esque. Sadly, it was never to be.

3. Suede - We Are The Pigs

(Well, quite. Some might argue that the truth behind these outrageous allegations really doesn't matter... even if DC didn't do it to a dead pig, he and over-privileged ilk have been doing it to the people of this country for years. We are the pigs.)

We Are The Pigs is a weird Suede song. It was the debut single from their second album, released just as Bernard Butler quit. A much darker record than the first one, it came out while the rest of Britpop was having a knees up. I think it stands up pretty well with the passage of time, though there were stronger tracks on Dog Man Star. This video was also banned for awhile... for being "too violent" or criticising the establishment? Nobody in Suede read out any British police phone numbers (999?) during the recording.

2. Admiral Fallow - Squealing Pigs

I like to think of Admiral Fallow as a 21st Century Deacon Blue... which is a little unfair to Ricky Ross and his pals, since they're still in the go and producing fine records. It's a better comparison than the "Scottish Mumfords" tag I've seen them labelled with elsewhere though, especially considering the downward trajectory of Mr. Mumford and his offspring of late.

Squealing Pigs was AF's debut single and is still one of their best... though I haven't heard their new album yet. 

1. Morrissey - Life Is A Pigsty

The epic centrepiece of Mozzer's 2006 album Ringleader of the Tormentors, and only he could have written a song with that title... at what point does it become self-mockery, eh, Moz? Reminiscent in places of Meat Is Murder (yet much more palatable), this actually goes a bit Space Oddity about halfway through... and is all the better for it.

I can't wait to hear what Moz thinks of Mr. Cameron now... 

Which is your bacon sandwich?


  1. No room for Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag by Pigbag?

  2. Nooooooo! you missed the ultimate pun:

    Ministry - Filth Pig!

  3. Pigs In Zen by Jane's Addiction, which was presumably the Jane's Addiction song you left out.

  4. You missed out THE greatest pig song ever - "Big Ted" by The Incredible String Band - released as a single back in 1969.

    Big Ted's dead, he was a great old pig
    He'd eat most anything, never wore a wig
    Now he's gone like snow on the water, goodbye

    He was getting old so the farmer said
    "Sold him to the butcher just to make a little bread"
    He's gone like snow on the water, don't cry

    Ted may be a moo cow next time around
    Giving sweet milk to the people in the town
    He'll be whatever, he will choose on air or sea or ground

    Sows are busy with the piglets fine
    I'd put them in the forest now if they were mine
    'Cause I know they like acorns, I don't like bacon

    Boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy
    Boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy
    Squidly, squidly, squidly, squidly, squidly, squidly, squidly
    Boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy, boochy
    Sham sham sharoo, oh, sham sham sharoo, Big Ted's sold and gone

    And here it is on YOUTUBE:

  5. Robert Wyatt 'Pigs (in there)" is the greatest song


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