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Pigs On The Wing 2

Song Name: Sheep

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: Animals, A Collection Of Great Dance Songs, Shine On

Run Time: 10:21

Year: 1977

Track Number: 4

Sung By: Roger Waters

Written By: Roger Waters

Info:

  • At the end of every line, the final word fades into a synthesizer. Every time this happens, the sound the word fades into changes.
  • "Sheep" represent society's lowest class who are largely oblivious to their status, and are exploited. In the first verse they're described to be grazing peacefully, unaware that they're soon going to be brought to a slaughterhouse. They're warned about their masters, the dogs, even though the album as a whole identifies the pigs as the real enemy. The first few lines make reference to the spiritual, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", making use of its vision of one's own death; and to the Book Of Exodus, in which the Israelites must cross the river Jordan to get to the Promised Land after their escape from Egyptian Slavery.
  • In the second verse, the awful truth suddenly dawns on them and with "terminal shock in (their) eyes" they realize that they're being led into "the valley of steel", representing the high-rise buildings, the corporations' home, and the slaughterhouse. The song continues into a mock biblical verse in which the sheep describe their dedicated belief in their master with "great power and great hunger." But in a humorous turnabout, the sheep, "through quiet reflection and great dedication", master karate and rebel against the dogs.
  • The third verse imagines their revolt, and even though they apparently kill the dogs, they are still too frightened to leave their homes (either due to other dangers or the very chaos they have produced), possibly indicating the revolt was only a fantasy, as the pigs are still at the top of the system.
  • Starting at 6:27 and ending at 7:08, a Psalm 23 parody ("The Lord is my shepherd") is spoken in the background by a vocoder, with the words changed to suit the subject of the song.
  • Originally live, it was performed by Nick Mason, but this was done on the album by an anonymous roadie.
  • The lyrics spoken in the background are: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He lays me down to die. Through pastures green, He leadeth me the silent waters by. With bright knives, He releaseth my soul. He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places. He converteth me to lamb cutlets. For lo!, He hath great power, and great hunger. When cometh the day we lowly ones, Through quiet reflection, and great dedication, master the art of karate, Lo!, we shall rise up, and then we'll make the bugger's eyes water."
  • Pink Floyd was attacked by the PMRC due to this parody.
  • During the breakdown, between the 2nd chorus and the synth solo, various sound effects used in the middle section of "Dogs" are used once again, including the repeated "Stone" line that was sung by David Gilmour and echoed to produce a dog like sound.
  Credits  |  Chronology  

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