Pink Floyd’s Animals still critiques modern society

The album took heavy inspiration from George Orwell's

The album took heavy inspiration from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

Elias Olexa, Staff Writer

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In the current political and social climate of America, Pink Floyd’s Animals stands out as a statement from over 40 years ago that remains relevant.

Animals, the band’s ninth album, was released in 1977 and took heavy inspiration from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Animal Farm is one of the most famous allegories of all time, and Animals expands upon the ideas presented in the novel because they plagued 1970s Britain.

In first and last songs of the album, “Pigs On the Wing, Pt. 1” and “Pigs On the Wing, Pt. 2,” the speaker voices the fact that without his love for his significant other, they would be lost and consumed by the materialistic and hierarchical world that they live in.

The second track, “Dogs,” is a criticism of big business and more specifically, those who do whatever it takes to get ahead. This song expresses the realities of taking advantage of others for personal gain and the justice that rains down upon these opportunists in the end. 

A current-day example of dogs in the real world would be most of the politicians in America. They get ahead by standing on the shoulders of others and do not truly care for the needs of the country.

The third song of the album, “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” is a direct condemnation of those who sit at the top of the social, political, and economic hierarchies. 

Roger Waters, who wrote the album, calls the upper class fake and insincere when he sings, “Ha ha, charade you are / And when your hand is on your heart / You’re nearly a good laugh / Almost a joker.” Waters suggests that it is a joke to believe that the people at the top truly care about what they preach.

The fourth song, “Sheep,” reveals Waters’s frustration with those who blindly follow along with the establishment. He scoffs at the fact that they are unable to think for themselves. In our country today, sheep would be those who blindly consume everything that their preferred news network tells them to. 

The album has amazing themes about the world, but it also is a masterpiece of guitar and vocals. They elicit emotion through every listen of the album.

Pink Floyd’s Animals is an incredibly important piece of musical history and it can be learned from, even 40 years later.