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When I wrote about Red Album deluxe track/outtake “Miss Sweeney” I spoke of the euphoria of hearing a classic Weezer track so deep into the new millennium, and the band’s new arena rock/radio pop M.O. But “Sweeney” is far from the first post-Y2K sign of life. Perhaps the brightest beacon in memory came April 9, 2007: music news/gossipper Idolator posted a link to a fresh Rivers Cuomo demo as their leak of the day, which was said to come from an anonymous tipster. Fans report having seen the MP3 originate in an official posting, where it remained for a few hours before mysteriously disappearing again — suggesting that Cuomo leaked the song himself, as he has done more than a few times in the past. The fact that it is the only recording that has leaked from his highly sought-after Delivrance At Hand! home demos crop (circa late ’06/early ’07) seems to corroborate this theory, as if a fan were to have gotten ahold of it, the entire thing would have likely leaked.

Its provenance didn’t particularly matter; what mattered was the raw beauty of the soul and emotion shimmering right on the song’s surface. As various other music blogs picked up the story and the MP3, fan reactions far and wide were largely ecstatic:

Thats pretty much the best thing Rivers has written in about a decade.

Those lyrics, that harmony, that simple emotion, and that smooth, soft melody remind of my favorite band from the 90’s. Thank you Rivers for keeping it real and bringing it back at an ever-so-needed time.

Is that you, Rivers? Haven’t seen you in a while…what feels like ten years…

And they were right. Musically, the song is an epiphany: the confident strum and thrum of a threadbare acoustic guitar, a loose-lipped rap verse that sounds more “El Scorcho” than “Beverley Hills” (or God forbid, “Mo’ Beats”), a most triumphant and fitting return of the fabled ’90s falsetto, elegant and simple piano chords that remind one of the warm wood stove and fireplace in “Longtime Sunshine,” an even more unbelievable (and fucking beautiful) throwback in the form of true harmonica catharsis on the chorus…It’s almost as though Rivers Cuomo opened up a Weezer forum one morning, read some Pinkerton worshipper’s latest refried diatribe, and said, “All right, fine.” Walked over to the guitar in the corner of his room, whipped out the notebook, and drew out some musical staves like the old days.

“This one’s for the little bitches.”

The song’s not just a retread, though — what’s so heart-rendingly beautiful about this song is that it picks out many of the things that worked so well about early Weezer, then travels new territory with them. This is the first glimpse the fans would get of Cuomo’s post-Make Believe exasperation with the standard verse/chorus/verse pop form, the one that he boiled down to an assembly line formula back in 2001: that is to say, I can only refer to the song’s emotional climax as a “chorus” for lack of a better word. The song is essentially one winding, 90-second verse that builds to a gorgeous pinnacle that, just as naturally as it coalesced, falls apart into a brief reprise of the song’s opening thought. Thus concludes Cuomo, dropping his guitar with a thudding chord.

The lyrics are better discussed in the context of the full-band Weezer version recorded during the Red Album sessions — and I say that not because it’s the better version, necessarily. I have a hard time choosing on a given day because the demo does some things better than the band version (namely, Cuomo’s vocal performance, and the overall arrangement of the song: although there is a harmonica on the Weezer version it’s essentially obliterated from the mix by the band’s addiction to electric guitars, and the synth strings that augment the demo’s lush piano chords distract from their plaintive beauty), while the band version does some things better than the demo version…like best reflecting the lyrics. It’s hard for me to say which the better take is, so I won’t — something for the commenters to decide — but there are a couple small added touches that I think do a better job of painting the text of the song.

While the demo began with the proud strut of Cuomo’s worn and dirty acoustic, Weezer kicks things off with a roomy, marching drum beat from Pat Wilson (some of the best-sounding drums on a Weezer recording in ages!), perhaps meant to represent the sound of a caravan approaching the farm where the narrative of the song takes place. The muted cymbal crash (deliciously scrappy, I must say!) that introduces the acoustic guitar is like the gate to the farm clattering to a close behind us, and the swaying chords sound like the hustle and bustle of the barnyard life beginning to encircle us. Cuomo the Pig soon joins our coterie, and spins us the yarn of his life. Naturally, the tale begins with childhood:

When I was a baby, I was so happy
I played with my friends in the mud
Wilbur and Jack and Otis and Beatty
We were a gang, ya got to believe me
Mama would scold us if we got too rough
She didn’t care, she was proud of us…

It’s worth noting that the rapping verse and its falsetto backup from the demo are here intact, albeit a downgrade from the perfection of that magical home recording. But it’s certainly a serviceable performance, and reels us into the Pig’s little world quite nicely. It sounds like he had a nice childhood. The next couplet is very interesting — “I ran around and talked to the animals / Tellin’ ’em stories of savage cannibals” — because while it’s clearly a sort of conversational aside, a little anecdote of what being a kid pig on the farm was like, it’s the sole reference to anything impure in the entirety of the verse vignette. “Savage cannibals” — an interesting concept, especially one for a little pig to have heard about, or perhaps concocted in his own imagination (after all, he’s the one telling the story to everyone else). Its exact meaning is up to interpretation, but it does two things for me: firstly, there’s a sort of literary quality to it which I think makes this song’s inadvertent reference to Orwell’s Animal Farm all the more tangible; and secondly, the dark allusion certainly serves to foreshadow the grizzly inevitable of this tale’s conclusion.

Then I got older and noticed a girl
First I was sure I didn’t exist to her
I sulked around but I didn’t know why
Then she put her cheek on my shoulder, and I
Was lookin’ at her and she was lookin’ at me
We started to smile: it was our destiny
Tina was her name, she was my cutie pie
Forgot about the things that I used to like

Those synth strings enter with this turn in the plot, and with them our hearts begin to melt a little. How adorable is that? Cuomo of course can’t resist putting in a classic hopeless-romantic quip of his own (“I was sure I didn’t exist to her”), but what’s so cute about this story is that the love interest finds the Pig’s sulking endearing (something that never happened in one of Cuomo’s more autobiographical songs: perhaps an interesting subtext here is that something like that would only happen in a fairytale?). “We started to smile, it was our destiny” — so simple, so pure, as if Pet Sounds had just left Cuomo’s turntable yesterday. Gotta also love the “she was my cutie pie” line, a piece of nerdy-white-boy-rap slang that sounds like a discarded draft lyric from “Buddy Holly.” And all this set to such lovely music? Excuse the break in my analysis, but it’s almost too good to be true!

I spent all my time followin’ her around
My friends all made the whiplash sound
But they understood, they was happy for me
And everyone clapped when I asked her to marry me
And she said yes, and we felt so fine!
We lost track of the passin’ of time…
Before I knew it, we had our own babies
Gina and Shade and Kiwi and Ged

Of course, Weezer predictably adds sound effects where appropriate in this segment of the verse. While the demo perhaps wisely left these things to the imagination, when the Pig’s friends make “the whiplash sound,” Cuomo’s friends in Weezer are there to make it as part of the backing vocal track, and they even dub some percussive handclaps over the “everyone clapped when I asked her to marry me” line. Some have bemoaned this move as belaboring the obvious, but personally, I think it works nicely in the song: it’s cute and cheesy in an endearing way, and the handclaps are tasteful and fun enough that I can’t help but clap along whenever I hear them. And oh, the joyous release of that line, “She said yes, and we felt so fine!” It’s lovely — especially when Wilson helps express the point with a little drum roll that sounds almost like the clicking of someone’s heels, or maybe a lovestruck heart skipping a beat. In any case, it most certainly is the sound of a great musician and his talents being put to good use after so many years of being curbed and neglected.

Wilson’s building toms also make for a nice segue into the sad climax of the song, the prolonged inevitable finally realized:

But now, I have to die
I’ve lived a good life, I’ve got no complaints
I’d like to thank Farmer Pete
For bringing me scraps of food that I could eat
He always had a smile on his face
He didn’t want to think of this day
It’s finally here.
It’s finally here, oh…

Catharsis, pure and simple. While the austere beauty of the demo version’s simple, subtle chorus is truly something to behold, I think the electric release of the Weezer version captures the moment better. Those thick, strangled guitars, the piano fully centered now as doubled by a twinkling glockenspiel/xylophone that is TRULY right out of “Pink Triangle,” the harmonica buried deep in the mix (not heard so much as felt), and the backup vocal echoes/harmonies of “it’s finally here” push the emotional resonance of the moment into the red. Speaking of that piano, listen closely — it really hits on some violent, discordant chords in there, and the effect is nothing short of epic.

God, it keeps going! At this point Cuomo tears into a primal wail so loud and disembodied it sounds like it’s roaring down from the clouds above. And then, in beautiful layered harmony: “They called me Pig!” The guitars are SCREAMING now, Wilson letting loose all over the cymbals, a gloriously heavy and layered restatement of the unassuming tumbles and rolls of the intro — it’s just all so powerful, so gripping. For me, it ranks up there with — maybe even beats — any given old school Weezer song as THE best singalong experience in the band’s canon. When this song comes on in the car and I’m out on the highway, I throw my hands up in the air and shout along with this moment so hard that I am *guaranteed* not to have a voice anymore on the other side. Body-trembling, arm-shaking, rearview mirror-cracking catharsis — what a fucking moment. I can’t get over it. It’s just so, so powerful.

The lyrics only stoke the fire that much more: halfway through the extended verse we really came to like this Pig, the cute and endearing little personification that he is. That’s because despite the metaphor (or perhaps because of it), we can really relate — this is a human’s life just as much as it is a pig’s, which is emotionally poignant and potent on so many levels (the shock of the relatability segues into an identification with the Pig protagonist insofar that some listeners might choose to go vegetarian by the song’s conclusion). This point really comes to a head during that climax: the way the Pig gratefully accepts his cruel fate is, in no small way, a pretty apt metaphor for the way we deal with our concept of God. He gave us life, so even when he’s come to take it back from us, we thank him for the time we had — “I’ve lived a good life, I’ve got no complaints.” Could any of us ask for any more than to truly feel that way, at the end of the day? And yet, even as God, Farmer Pete approaches the Pig with a gun in his hand and regret in his heart. Is that remorse real or imagined? Wishful thinking, or does Farmer Pete really feel something for this Pig the way we do? Regardless, the day has come, it’s finally here, and even when we are brave and accepting, there’s an existential disbelief that comes with this moment of harshest reality. It’s finally here…

What happens next is as grand a triumph as anything Cuomo — maybe anyone — has ever achieved through song. That climax is the sound of the Pig lifting up off the earth and out of reality, already catching a glimpse of the forever just beyond the clouds, be it a pearly-gated heaven or perhaps a blackness as dark and endless as outerspace. But suddenly we’re sucked back down to the moment on earth, where the Pig lays patiently before his maker on the stump of a fallen tree. Knowing what’s about to happen, his life quickly flashes before his eyes, back to the moment that started it all — “When I was a baby, I was so happy, I played with my friends in the mud…” — and the arpeggiating guitar lines reach up to the sky, a rattling tambourine symbolic of the last cool breeze this Pig will ever feel on his skin.

Bang. Wilson hits the snare, and just like that the shotgun shell courses down the barrel, through the open air and directly into the Pig’s bowed head. He was still before, but now there’s a certain lifelessness to him as the blood spills from his skull, gently rolling down the side of the tree stump. The plaintive strum of the guitar pulls the great big Camera of Life away from the scene, Farmer Pete pausing to wipe his spectacles beneath the sepia tones of the setting autumn sun. The farm is instilled with a quiet reverence for the memory of the fine Pig, but you can tell as the sun dips beneath the horizon and the image fades to black, that this is something none of them will ever speak of again.


People: this is a song. I would close with a thought about how this is what Weezer should be about nowadays, and how this is something that should not have to be relegated to outtake/bonus track status — but as I sit here in the wake of this song, that feels beside the point. Forget Weezer for a moment: this is what music should be about; what cinema should be about; what art should be about; what life should be about. It’s rare that a song can so totally consume the heart as to really inspire one to change the fiber of his very existence, but that’s the kind of thing this song achieves for me. Rather than a reprimand or a suggestion, I’d rather take this opportunity to thank Cuomo for a piece of his mind, heart and soul. He truly has a rare and precious beauty in them all.


  1. Walfred wrote:

    Excellent, excellent review. Recent songs such as Pig, Sweeney, TAATO and even TGMTEL, Pork & Beans, Dreamin’ and the Stereogum sessions make me look forward to music from Weezer. Call me what you will, I still think they’re putting out great music.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Melack wrote:

    This is the song that brought me back to Weezer fandom after the huge blow to me that was Maladroit.

    I stumbled upon this demo on youtube and decided to give it a listen.

    I digged the verses and thought that they were cool. Then the crescendo cam as a total surprise and blew my mind away. Tose falsetto vocals and the line “it’s finally here ohhhhhhhhhh” gave me major goosebumps.

    I just had to find out what other Weezer fans thought about this song, as I thought it was freaking genius and expected it to be treated as the second coming of christ. I noticed that weezernation had died and searched for a new forum and I found

    To my happiness the song was indeed almost generally praised by the fans, something that a Rivers song had not been for a long time.

    The hopes for A6 rised sky high for me after hearing this song (too bad it never realised those hopes at all).

    There was a time when the demo of this song was all I listened to, couldn’t get enough of it.

    And even though it’s about a Pig it really spoke to me and the place where my life was at the moment. I was in a period where I thought a lot about life and death in general and it reallu made me connect to this song.

    The feelings I felt in the climax of this song was some of the strongest I’ve ever felt to a song.

    Now I know that this is not the best song ever or even one of Weezers best, but I can’t deny the things it made me feel.

    It deals with the nostalgia of childhood, the excitement of love and the acceptance of death we all must deal with some day.

    It does it in 3 and a half minutes and it does it with a soaring melody over a simple chord progression, Rivers songwriting at it’s best.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  3. Melack wrote:

    Oh yeah and this was a great post Soymilk.

    And I’m so very glad it got “The Very Best” tag, totally deserving.

    Oh and about the demo vs album

    I really like both but got special feelings for the demo for certain reasons.

    But no one can say they failed with the studio rendition of this song. It’s a very tasteful production. I got it’s flaws yes (low mixing of the harmonica etc.) but also some amazing details like the drumming, the background vocals and the little lick at the end that weighs all the flaws up for me and still makes it a five star song for me.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  4. justbluemyself wrote:

    Wow, great post. I have a hard enough time writing papers for school, I don’t know how you find the time for such an epic analysis.

    Anyway, yeah, amazing song. The demo is really special. But like you said, there are things about the studio recording that are even better, such as the climax. That final snare hit is also a really nice touch. Can you imagine this being the closer to Red?

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  5. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    Soy, this is an amazing piece of writing about an amazing song. Everything is spot on and well-put. Funnily enough, I was just commenting on Don’t Let Go and lamenting Weezer’s tracklisting decisions, which just thinking about was putting me in a bad mood. Then to check TVS again to find this love letter (for lack of better term) to Rivers’ true songwriting potential and to music in general was quite uplifting to say the least. I love Pig and listening to it has once again got my hopes high for A7 (where they will probably be soullessly and mercilessly crushed). Oh well. Awesome write-up.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  6. Chuck wrote:

    OK, while I do like the demo. Can Rivers just SING anymore?

    nearly every song since 2006 has had some sort of this sing-speak, eminem-influenced bullshit. im sick of it.

    pork and beans
    greatest man
    Cold Dark Wold
    Heart Songs
    I Don’t Want To Let You Go

    It all has much more to do with an eminem/top-40 influence than any “operatic” theory you can come up with.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  7. Chuck wrote:

    Pig would have been a great #9 though, on Red.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  8. Soyrev wrote:

    The verses in “Miss Sweeney” are WAY too off-color and strangely clipped to be called “rap.” And the contexts of “Pig” and “I Don’t Want To Let You Go” definitely make the “rapping” work — no one complains about “El Scorcho,” do they? Same thing here as far as I’m concerned.

    I’ll agree about the other examples though — EGD and CDW being the very worst. Enough’s enough — though again, I can appreciate the technique where it works.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  9. John wrote:

    Where did the comments come from in the block quote? I wasn’t following Weezer much after Make Believe, and I remember reading about “Pig” in Rolling Stone. I was amazed that it took me that long to hear about it.

    Anyways, what I’m saying: if you have a link to some sort of message board thread create in the wake of this leak, I’d love to read it over and see what that moment is like.

    Great post for a great song.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  10. s.o.s. wrote:

    Yes yes yes yes and YES
    I’ve always loved Pig (as I do 98% of Weezer songs), but Pig is especially fantastic. As always, I’m driven to listen to the song the instant I’m done reading soy’s post and appreciate it even more. This is Cuomo at his best. Another stellar post, soy.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  11. farmerpete wrote:

    That’ll do Soy.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
  12. Melack wrote:

    Chuck, do you like any rap at all?

    just curious.

    Oh and i don’t consider Pig nowhere near rap at all.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  13. Danorganplayer wrote:

    AGREED 100 Percent

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  14. Martin wrote:

    You really did this one justice, Jakob. I’ve defended Pig a few times and wrote up a few things on it before. You’ve managed to capture most of that here. It’s a great write up that re-sparked my interest in your blog.

    I’d just add a few things of my own:

    The intro guitar part symbolizes the pig himself. In classical program pieces such as “Symphonie Fantastique”, characters were given a melody to be played whenever they entered and exited. I think it should be noted that this riff is most plainly heard at the beginning and the end of the song — a symbol of the Pig’s story of life and his moment of death.

    What I love most about this song is the layering of it to produce imagery. It’s so easy for me to visualize these farm animals watching Pig strut down the trail to his demise. They listen intently as he begins to tell his story and slowly begin to become a part of it. I think what Weezer does best for the song that Rivers’ demo did not is create a group of “friends” for the Pig — claps, drum kicks/rolls, backing vocals, etc.

    I really love the release. The song is so powerful and has so many things happening, but it still feels lighter than air. It’s powerful but it’s never overbearing in the way that “Pork and Beans” is. I’m not slamming PnB’s mix because it’s fantastic. Rather, I’m just saying Weezer knew DAMN WELL what they were doing. When the Pig reminisces about his life it feels like we’re being lifted up into heaven. There are so many powerful layers and voices, but it still feels lighter than air. It’s wonderful.

    Easily one of Weezer’s all time greatest songs.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  15. BrokenBeatenDown wrote:

    That was brilliant, Soy. Easily the best essay you’ve written so far. You really justified this song, and it can really be taken on so many different levels.

    “In any case, it most certainly is the sound of a great musician and his talents being put to good use after so many years of being curbed and neglected.”

    This song is probably the main reason I’m still a rabid fan. The fact that Cuomo is still capable of this gives me hope of another classic album. I was truly disappointed when Album 6 didn’t turn out to be a farm animal concept album (seriously).

    Also, in some Meditation/Spirituality online mag. (can’t remember!), Rivers talked about his inspiration for the song. It was from a certain book (can’t remember at the moment) that featured lots of cruelty towards animals. You might want to look that up and add it to your entry. It was was pretty interesting.

    Again, spectacular essay for an equally spectacular song. I certainly have no problem holding this up with the greats from the 90s.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
  16. BrokenBeatenDown wrote:

    Oh and Chuck,

    I don’t think the Eminem speak/sing-type verses are going to continue. I think it was just another phase that will come to define the Red Album. It is essentially the rap album he’s threatened to make since 2002. I, too, am hoping he’ll revert back to his melodic ways.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  17. Robin wrote:

    Great post, once again. “Pig” was an important track for me as well because I had listened to Blue and Pinkterton a whole lot during the early 2000’s but then kind of stopped listening to Weezer all together after Maladroit (even though I liked it when it came out, and still enjoy listening to it).

    Anyways, Rivers’ “Let’s Write a Sawng” project got my kind of excited for Red and whenever I tried listening to it, I kept falling asleep, so I kept missing the bonus tracks! So one time I just listened to all four in a row and was completely blown away, especially by “Pig” (I kind of ignored “King,” although I did think Shriner’s voice at the very beginning when he says ‘uh-one night…’ was pretty funny.)

    I was really blown away though by how beautiful Rivers’ voice is, and this song was what really made me realize how talented of a singer he is.

    He sounds almost like Freddy Mercury during the “Farmer Pete” lines! It was amazing. I then realized that Rivers’ voice is really one of the main reasons I enjoy Weezer so much, and subsequently the Alone collections.

    Also as an aside, I think his vocal performance in “Can’t Stop Partying” is most definitely something to be noted.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
  18. BrokenBeatenDown wrote:

    Ah! Sorry for the third post in a row. I did a little more searching and found the article I was thinking of:

    It actually doesn’t directly reference “Pig” afterall, but I think it can be easily speculated that “Robinson Crusoe” was a major influence. Here’s a quote:

    “One thing that really struck me is, what he writes about for some reason comes across as so cruel. Like there’s so little feeling of compassion or regret that he has to kill the animals to survive. I’m not sure what to make of it yet. The way he describes it is so cold…. It never occurred to him that the suffering of the animals is something to worry about or to feel sorry about. And maybe that was just a product of the times or maybe some Christian philosophy that justifies it; I’m not sure. Really the thing that strikes me most about it is: Maybe there’s something in me that’s reacting to this and that maybe other people wouldn’t notice it. “

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  19. blinkoboy13 wrote:

    “Excellent, excellent review. Recent songs such as Pig, Sweeney, TAATO and even TGMTEL, Pork & Beans, Dreamin’ and the Stereogum sessions make me look forward to music from Weezer. Call me what you will, I still think they’re putting out great music.”


    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  20. OOS wrote:

    I used to be indifferent to this song, but after OhJonas’s write-up on album 6, I just can’t get enough. This post pretty much sum up my feelings about this. That snare at the end is just chilling…

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  21. Hup_Y wrote:

    ‘The Ballad Of Piggy Wings’ by The Yummy Fur came on iTunes afterwards. Fucking yes.

    It’s an awesome song, though, ‘Pig’. Almost as good as ‘The Other Way’ or ‘O Girlfriend’ – real genius. Almost.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  22. clore wrote:

    Soy, this is such a beautiful post. I’ve said it before — you certainly do a wonderful thing for the Weezer fan community.

    When the “Pig” demo leaked, I was floored for the new Weezer album. For two weeks, I listened to it probably five or six times a day, and a lot of these listens were immediately after a previous one.

    The song still gives me chills.

    It truly blows my mind how “Pig,” “Sweeney,” and “Spider” got shafted from the album. This is truly a work of art, and was rightfully added to “The Very Best” without hesitance.

    Weezer’s best songs have an overwhelming and blatant influence from Rivers. As much as I like the idea of other members contributing and taking the lead on certain songs (minus Scott…sorry Scott), Rivers — his voice, his lyrics, his musicianship — defines who Weezer was and is today (for better or for worse).

    I’m not going to lie… In the NPR Fresh Air interview when Rivers pestered Terri Gross until she corrected his title from “frontman and lead singer” to “band member,” I got a little worried for the future of Weezer.

    All pessimism aside, let’s hope the genius of this song can be emulated on the next album.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  23. Soyrev wrote:

    John: I searched Google for “Rivers Cuomo pig” and found all the old entries from various blogs about the song. Sniped the quotes from their comment sections.

    Martin: Thanks — glad to have you back. And I like your added insights; please do stop by again sometime, maybe do some catching up…;)

    BBD: People said that about my “Longtime Sunshine” entry, too…Glad to hear I’m not slacking! And that Cuomo interview is fascinating; I remember reading it long ago, but yeah, the “Pig” connection is now obvious. Very cool to see some classic literature inspiring our man!

    Robin: Definitely looking forward to the “Partying” post!

    Hup_Y: You put “The Other Way” above this? I mean I love that song, but man, two different planes in my mind. “O Girlfriend” is closer to “Pig” status, but I still put “Pig” above…I’m looking forward to the “O Girlfriend” post, as I’m expecting a very interesting comment from you on that.

    Clore: Thanks so much, its encouragement like yours that keeps me going.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  24. brado8 wrote:

    At first I didn’t think much of this song. Now I see it’s greatness. I love how it is nothing but a slow build over one progression. Great stuff!

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:35 am | Permalink
  25. Christofski wrote:

    Pig is without a doubt one of my top 5 favourite PP songs. I still feel that it doesn’t get the attention it deserves as it pretty much blows everything else on Red out of the water. I really enjoyed reading you’re write up about it, and hope that it convinces those who have yet to realise its greatness to give it another chance.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  26. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    That post was just as good as an awesome song.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink
  27. Ludicrosity wrote:

    For what it’s worth, I think I like the studio version better than demo. It just brings it to an entirely new level and sets it off. I think that release in the chorus is one of the best Weezer moments ever… those guitars and the vocals just make the entire song take off into the stratusphere.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink
  28. Soyrev wrote:

    Yeah, that moment really blows the roof off the place. I think it’s almost as powerful as the solo in “Say It Ain’t So” or the supernova at the end of “Only In Dreams”…Very almost.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  29. ThomYorke wrote:

    I’m going to join the love-fest here and commend you on an excellently written piece.

    Congrats, for the first time ever, you’ve actually officially altered my opinion of a song you reviewed here.

    Love-fest aside, I’m going to be Debbie Downer a little bit here.

    I think the drama created by the band is awesome, but the effect is muted a little by the mix. Too much bells, not enough gritty guitar. Also, it’s a matter of preference, but it’s always felt like that could have been a little less “cheesey” sounding. Flame away, but it’s just the impression I get sometimes for some reason.

    Anyway, overall you really opened my eyes to the quality of the Red version. I too was stunned and giddy during it’s original release in demo form. It was truly everything you’d described it to be. I’m not quite sold yet though that it still isn’t the better of two versions.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  30. Walfred wrote:

    I have never heard the demo (and apparently I very much need to hear it), but I can’t imagine this song without Pat’s perfect shotgun blow at the end.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  31. Walfred wrote:

    To me, the Red Album was Rivers’ personal “coming of middle-age” theme album. Almost every song (and maybe EVERY song) has to do with that theme – addressing the responsibilities of being a proper adult or a father, nostalgia, “giving up, growing old, and hoping there’s a God”, etc. It explains to me why Miss Sweeney and his version of King didn’t make the album.

    What’s frustrating is that Pig FITS THIS THEME perfectly. As Soy conveyed infinitely more articulately than me, he is certainly pondering the nature of our mortal existence (not just urging us to go veggie).

    Somewhere in there during recording, RC decided he would be a mature team player and share the lead around (who knows, maybe he thought it would fit in with the theme).

    And then the bad decisions started. Thank goodness for the deluxe edition.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  32. PetSounds wrote:

    I remember where I was the first time I heard Pig. I had read about it in Rolling Stone, and then spent the majority of photo class trying to find a copy of it that wasn’t blocked by the school’s filters. I eventually did. I really remember being disappointed at first. It was good, but, being my first “bootleg” experience with Weezer was Blast Off! and the SFTBH, which are much more easily digestible than Pig, this is understandable looking back on it. But listening more and more, this is a much better song than Blast Off! So much more passion and feeling. Rivers really just lays out his emotions on the recording.

    And I am the only one who (might) prefer the full-band version? The point that made me decide this are the “ooo”‘s. I really think they are more outstanding on the full band version.

    I was also really scared they would fuck up the album version. But lo and behold, they showed some common sense, and pretty much just re-did the demo.

    And I also can’t picture the Rivers on the Red cover singing this song. It just doesn’t work. He looks more like a Farmer Pete.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
  33. Soyrev wrote:

    You know, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I really do like the band version better in general. It’s just so beautiful.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  34. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    Soy. I do this nearly every time you make a new post on this fuckin blog, but again your review has been nothing short of amazing.

    to the song:

    I also can’t decide between the demo and the studio version. My very first reaction to the studio version was “NOOOO! WHAT DID THEY DO?!?!” A post of of ohjonas’ talking about how this version more properly tells the story of the song quickly changed my opinion, and since then I haven’t been able to chose. I’ve literally sat and thought about it for pretty lengthy amounts of time, and I can’t decide. Obviously Weezer did a superb job on the studio version, though.

    A point that hasn’t been brought up yet (I don’t think ever): Has it occurred to anyone else that if you simply removed (or altered) the “They call me Pig” line, and changed the title of the song, there is barely any indication of this song being about a Pig. Sometimes I think about how I would have interpreted this song had it been released like that, and how I would have reacted if I found out it actually was about a Pig.

    I can’t say it any better than you did. I love this song. This and Sweeney are 10/10 in my book without a doubt, and not only stand up to Pink and Blue stuff, but hold their own.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
  35. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    Also – I’m gonna save this post in a Word Doc just like I did with Sweeney’s. I hope I read this in like 40 years when I’ve long forgotten about Weezer, and I’ll fall in love again, log on to Albumsix, and see Ohjonas with 4,000,000,000,000,000 posts.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
  36. Chuck wrote:

    Some of my friends complain that this song “takes too long” to get to the “chorus.”

    I don’t agree. but it’s a possible reason for it’s exclusion from “Red.”

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink
  37. Art Vandelay wrote:

    I agree with most the positive sentiments towards this track. I’d put it somewhere in my top 10 post-Pinkerton studio releases.

    But again, the fact that Cold Dark World won an album slot over this one indicates that the Weezer dudes, while improving much since the PP dark ages, are still asleep at the wheel in a lot of ways.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 2:29 am | Permalink
  38. Ludicrosity wrote:

    “Yeah, that moment really blows the roof off the place. I think it’s almost as powerful as the solo in ‘Say It Ain’t So’ or the supernova at the end of ‘Only In Dreams’…Very almost.”

    I was going to compare the chorus of Pig to the “supernova” in OID but thought it might be considered sacrilege on these here parts. Glad to know I wasn’t totally alone or off the mark in thinking it. :)

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:25 am | Permalink
  39. GuessWho wrote:

    I thought this song was good, not great, but after reading your incredibly poetic writeup and listening to it again, I feel like an idiot. This song is incredible.

    The piano and bells are great, sounds straight out of Bohemian Rhapsody.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 7:18 am | Permalink
  40. Soyrev wrote:

    MNIJ: Haha, you’re a swell kid Jason. Really.

    Chuck: Your friends are missing the point. And I’d like to think that Rivers wouldn’t intentionally write a song that way (and gorgeously so), then discredit for that…But then again, this is Rivers we’re talking about. Like Art says, a little asleep at the wheel…

    Ludicrosity: Word!

    Guesswho: My work here is done. 😉

    Oh, and that’s the second time someone in the comments has compared elements from this song to Queen…hmm…

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I can’t hardly add a thing to your write up, it’s spot on. I think the band version may be slightly better, just for the imagery it conjures up, although the ‘chorus’ mix and the fine line it treads on being cheesey kind of let it down.

    After hearing the demo I thought it would be one of those songs that would not make a transition to full band well, much like ‘I don’t want to let you go’, however the band played it perfectly.

    I liked the interview where Rivers described the song, then joked that in the end it got slaughtered, as when I was telling my friends about it today they also laughed – quite unusual as it is a sad provoking deep song. They also said it could sound cheesey – that’s without hearing it.

    By the way its 2008’s best animals rights song according to PETA (I think its called that and hasn’t been mentioned yet.)

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  42. ThomYorke wrote:

    Waiting&Waiting – I’m glad to see someone else gets a hint of the “mix cheese factor” that I was picking up too.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  43. Soyrev wrote:

    The slight “cheese factor” doesn’t even phase me, really — I think the only really cheesy parts (the handclaps, the whiplash sound) are actually cute and quite touching.

    Waitingandwaiting: Can you get me a PETA link? I’ve never heard of that!

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Scroll down, its near the bottom. As discussed on albumsix, its not written with an opinion against animal wrights – it depends how you interpret the Pig’s view point, as he doesn’t blame the farmer, but that falsetto wail says more than words could.

    It’s said to go listen to seafaring jamb after this.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink
  45. Soyrev wrote:

    That’s crazy. Weird, but kinda awesome that a Deluxe bonus track is getting national recognition like that…Wonder if Rivers knows?

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    On a side note : I just realised how much I hate the word cheesy. I mean it sounds bad, and how does a food I like and which is made fairly naturally (with a rich and textured taste left on the palate to boot) become a name for something clichéd and manufactured. I hate that word, and I’m even more infuriated that I use it too.

    Back to pig, I reckon Rivers knows this due to affinity for the internet and his moral beliefs, but I reckon that the lack of a write up about it and reasoning will mean he will discount it. And how many animal rights song from 2008 can you name?

    Also the mix is strange as the acoustic beginning and end sound so crisp and fresh in comparison to the stodgy and muddled climax. Personally the best thing from Red was the production (yes props to even Rubin)/mixing/mastering – that sort of sound seems rare for most pop records now.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  47. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    I was hoping I’d get a response to the little “ZOMG it could not be about a Pig if you change two things” comment.

    does anyone else think that’s cool?

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
  48. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    and soy you’re a great man yourself. feelin the love in here. some nice Piggy lovin’.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
  49. Soyrev wrote:

    True that, MNIJason — which only drives home the whole human metaphor thing. Like I said, this is multi-faceted, multi-layered songwriting at its best. Even PETA heard this one!

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  50. Voroo wrote:

    YAY PIG!!!!!!!

    Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink
  51. Soyrev wrote:

    Thanks, buddy. 😉

    Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Permalink
  52. Jonny wrote:

    Interesting read, and good written as usual.

    I seem to be one of the few who are not that crazy about Pig. I think the second part of the song (well, basically the climax part) is terrific, up there with the best they’ve ever done, and the rest of the song is pretty okay as well.

    The things that doesn’t work for me is the production (I think the drums doesn’t go to well with the build-up (should’ve switched to regular drum sticks for that part imo), and the synth string sound out of place), and most of all – the lyrics. I can’t see them as anything else than pretty slooppy and uninteresting, and I don’t find any metaphores or anything that works. It just sounds silly to me, not something that someone over 20 would write. And at the same time – this might sound contradictive – there’s not enough lyrics. It’s all too short. Even if I somehow would be moved by the story of a pig in a farm, it would have to take a longer story to achieve that. This is more like a movie teaser trailer with the ending of the movie stuck on, I can’t relate nor feel (but that is basically the case with 98% of Rivers’ lyrics since the the last millenium, and I conclude that his writing isn’t really my cuppatea. that’s ok, I still have Moz, Billy Bragg and James Allan (Glasvegas) to satisfy that part).

    I don’t wanna leave on a sour note though, and I’ll repeat that I do like the song, and that the climax part is basically 100% brilliant all over, and if Weezer can do pull that off, I’m all ears for album 7.

    Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 5:41 am | Permalink
  53. Soyrev wrote:

    Jonny: What is there not to get about the lyrics?


    Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink
  54. Jonny wrote:

    Well, I don’t get what is suppose to excite or interest me about telling a story of a goshdarn pig getting married and ending up as some bacon and a pork chop or two. That’s just not why I’ve spent hours reading the booklets and inlays from my cds and lps althrough my life as a pop fan (and reacted the same way about Bungalow Bill and Boris the Spider bte, so it’s not just Rivers mistake)..

    I’m not saying my opinion on this is definite though, by any means. Maybe I’ll end up convinced the other way. I don’t think so at the moment though, but I’m a sucker for the scientific method and hence like to keep eyes, ears and mind open..

    Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Who’s singing in the verse at the same time as Rivers, cos its one unusual vocal.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 4:52 am | Permalink
  56. Walfred wrote:

    Soy’s writing is so good that it makes it hard to comment without coming to terms with how dumb we will always sound in comparison.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
  57. Soyrev wrote:

    waitingandwaiting: That would be Rivers over Rivers, on the verse.

    Walfred: As kind a compliment as I’ve ever received. Thank you dearly — and don’t be so hard on yourself!

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Permalink
  58. GuessWho wrote:

    A slice of Pig, then a slice of Bohemian Rhapsody. The similarity isn’t huge, but it’s noticeable.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  59. Soyrev wrote:

    NOT HUGE!?

    For chrissakes, the piano chord changes are practically identical, and the subject matter is very similar (change in perspective, of course, and the difference is key in that the pig accepts, maybe even sadly embraces his fate, whereas Freddy’s character doesn’t wanna go). This is without QUESTION where Cuomo came up with that section of the song.

    People, we need to talk. Is this “Rivers referencing a cool song in a cool way” (like the beginning of ATS), or “Rivers kind of ripping something off to the point of distraction” (like “I Do,” or half of Maladroit).

    The jury’s out for me. Damn that is similar, I’m surprised I’ve never heard someone bring it up before. Thoughts, anyone?

    I will say this: I’m really glad that Cuomo’s being influenced by music like Queen and literature like that of Robinson Crusoe in his music as late as 2007. I figured his stereo was just plugged to Disney Radio all the time…

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 5:55 am | Permalink
  60. JamDav91 wrote:

    Stuff like this really doesn’t matter in music. There relly isn’t such a thing as originality in art, so you’re going to be “ripping something off” whatever you do. In music particularly, you only have a dozen different notes to work with – you can’t suddenly decide to invent the note R – so all you can do is put your own personal twist on what’s out there. In this case, I think Rivers achieved this – in the vocals, the emotion seems much truer than anything in Bohemian Rhapsody, which is, though awesome, pretentious and silly.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink
  61. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    I swear I totally brought this up on A6 wayyyyy back. I’ve noticed this since day one. I even had a dream about this where Pig was playing in a candy store, my friends were all singing along, and I told them it sounded like Bohemian Rhapsody. Seriously.

    But overall, I’m not sure if it bothers me or not, I still enjoy the song a ton (unlike the annoying similarity in I Do). I wonder if perhaps (assuming Queen and Boh. Rhap. did influence this) TGMTEL was also a byproduct.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  62. Hup_Y wrote:

    Good lord, for a start the chords aren’t the same as Bohemian Rhapsody – a similarity only emerged when the full-band studio version added that counter-melody on the piano (plus synth strings) that helped provide a Bo Rap feeling. I’m not sure why this is setting off the “OMG I’ve caught Rivers out for being a fraud” alarm bells, but then again I first heard Bo Rap 18 years a go and not yesterday, LOL.

    Furthermore, Rivers appears to have demo’d the song on a downtuned acoustic guitar – any musical similarity can only have been accidental. But yes, I accept Rivers is a fraud and will burn my CDs accordingly.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  63. clore wrote:

    I never noticed the Bohemian Rhapsody connection! That is really interesting.

    On an unrelated side note that is probably purely coincidence (I agree with jamdav), the chord progression throughout this song is exactly the same as the chord progression in the chorus of “I Believe I Can Fly,” by whoever did that song back in the day. Just thought I’d throw that out there. As embarrassing as it might sound, try singing the chorus along with it, and the two songs mesh perfectly.

    I don’t know that song enough to form any sort of arguments or connections in subject material if there were any, except there may be similarities in messages of self-actualization.

    HAHA, Soy, that collaboration Rivers did wth Aly & AJ sure did scare me a bit.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  64. clore wrote:

    For the record and for the sake of Rivers’ intergrity, I think it would be very intriguing, to say the least, if Rivers did model “Pig” after Bohemian. The chord progression is not only the same as that chunk of Bohemian, but the bells and piano fit in VERY SIMILARLY to the song as well.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  65. Soyrev wrote:

    Noob: I think this makes the Queen influence of “Greatest Man” that much more obvious. Guess which song I prefer…

    Also, I’m pretty sure that this comparison is filed under “cool reference” and not “regrettable ripoff,” but those of you thinking it’s a coincidence are kidding yourselves. This was definitely completely intentional.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  66. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I also must file this under cool reference. I think it’s a nod to Queen and not an outright rip-off. The song seems to have too much emotion for it to be cheapened that way. It’d be a rather large coincidence for the two not to be related… I mean the lines are “Now I’ve got to die” and the part in Boehemian Rhapsody is about having to go and leave it all behind and dying. It’s pretty obviously linked together.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. BTW, soy… sorry to hear you’ve deleted your a6 account. Glad you’re keeping the blog going!

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  67. Soyrev wrote:

    Well, “I Do” seeps emotion too, but that doesn’t change the fact that the entire song is founded on a really blatantly gypped Billy Joel melody.

    That’s moot in regards to “Pig,” though. Makes the song a little cooler I think, even.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  68. JamDav91 wrote:

    On one hand, you’re right in saying something so obvious is definitely a reference. On the other hand, you can equally easily subconciously rip-off a song you know while writing. For example, I was working on my A-Level music composition the other day, and I was singing in my head a simple melody just to get an idea of what I could do with the chords I was using. Luckily, on this occasion I realised sharpish I was doing “Islands In the Stream” but you could easily write a whole song without an inkling that you accidently rewrote “Girls and Boys” by Good Charlotte. Not that I have, but it could happen, so you can’t firmly say one way or the other withot a direct quotation from Cuomo.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  69. Soyrev wrote:

    I see that musically, but the whole “death” theme in both sections is too much. There’s no way Cuomo accidentally reappropriated the music AND the main lyrical theme at the same time…

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink
  70. GuessWho wrote:

    @Soyrev: Honestly, I didn’t notice the lyrical connection until after I made that comment. When I compared them in my head, I used the “mama just killed a man” verse, but after I made and posted that MP3 it suddenly hit me just how much the later verse has in common with the comparable section in “Pig”. It’s definitely not coincidence.

    @ Noobcakes: I was hoping I wasn’t the first one to notice any similarity. I also snapped to it the first time I heard Pig, actually.

    I’m happy to see that link stirred up so much discussion, by the way. I certainly wasn’t expecting a mention on the front page!

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink
  71. OOS wrote:

    Anyone think that maybe this is partly the reason that Pig didn’t make Red? After all, as a demo, Rivers may have thought it was neat to reference Bohemian Rhapsody, but he’s shown before with You Won’t Get With Me Tonight that he doesn’t want to (intentionally, at least) steal other artists work, so maybe the band relegated Pig to b-side status because they thought the similarities too blatant?

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  72. Soyrev wrote:

    I think Rivers is in a different mental space now, OOS. After all, this is post-Maladroit Rivers…more than half that album blatantly rips off other songs, and hardly in an artful way at all. The “Rhapsody” reference in “Pig” is far classier, besides.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  73. OhWeezer96 wrote:

    OOS – GOOD point about Pig not making the album due to the similarities. I mean i understand Sweeney not making it because of the Suzanne connection, but now i may finally be able to understand the outlandish decision to not include Pig on the album proper. Maybe Cuomo isn’t as nuts as i’d perviously thought.

    And i don’t understand what you mean about YWGWMT. Was that “stolen” from another artist?

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  74. Soyrev wrote:

    I really don’t think it’d be a reason not to include it on the album…For either “Sweeney” or “Pig.”

    And no, YWGWMT really doesn’t have anything “stolen” — the verse vocal melody bears a slightly-more-than-passing resemblance to a riff in “I Shot the Sheriff.” Possibly even just the live version of “Sheriff”…not sure. But the similarity is SO minor that I think maybe that was just an excuse for Rivers to kill the song off.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink
  75. OOS wrote:

    It’s probably not the reason (could also be because we’ve heard it before and he wanted the album to be all new material?), but it’s worth considering. In any case, in regards to Sweeney, Pig, and YWGWMT, the similarities to other songs are so minor (or pulled off well enough) that they should’ve made SOME album.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  76. OhWeezer96 wrote:

    Hmm…maybe i’d take YWGWMT over Waiting On You as a Pinkerton b-side. Can’t see it on an album, well outside of SFTBH.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
  77. ThomYorke wrote:

    Waiting on You is arguably in the top 10 Weezer songs ever written. I would NEVER substitute it for YWGWMT. Never.

    Anyway, it’s entirely possible that Rivers was heavily inspired by Queen for the melody, and even the lyrical theme. I guess i just don’t care. It’s not like the songs are so similar I can’t tell them apart – they’re clearly still very different for a myriad of reasons. It’s still a very original song in my mind.

    Also, Sweeney absolutely deserved a place on the actual album. All this nonsense about it being too much like Susanne is ridiculous. Rivers has a 100 songs that share similarities with each other both lyrically and melodically, and it doesn’t seem to concern people unless we’re talking about Sweeney.

    People just need to accept the fact that Sweeney is genuinely on par with any song they’ve ever put on any album during any era.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  78. ThomYorke wrote:

    I meant to say “genuinely on par with any of their best songs”

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  79. Soyrev wrote:

    “Sweeney” is definitely an A song. Not A+, but it’s in The Very Best range for sure (A- to A+).

    And yeah, “Waiting On You” is incredible. Blows YWGWMT (and most songs) out of the water.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  80. OOS wrote:

    At the same time, a studio recorded YWGWMT with female vocals (possible, because they did it on IJTOTLOMD) would’ve rocked. Still, WOY is amazing and probably my favourite Pinkerton b-side.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  81. Soyrev wrote:

    True enough, a finish YWGWMT could be really stunning…And yes, WOY is my favorite Pink b-side as well. Except maybe YGYLTMS…And “Devotion” is a great song, but almost too depressing to listen to with any frequency.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  82. brado8 wrote:

    ‘Devotion’ will always be my favorite. At points it has been my favorite song period. But I suppose that’s a discussion for another day.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Permalink
  83. OOS wrote:

    I never found Devotion very depressing, personally. I actually found it kind of uplifting, sort of like “well, we only have each other, so lets just make the best of it”.

    Also, while YGYLTMS is certainly a fantastic song (certainly better than Wanda), I still don’t get the hype for it.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  84. Soyrev wrote:

    “Devotion” is not uplifting by any stretch of the imagination. It’s Rivers temporarily settling for a girl that he’s dumped before and knows he will dump again, once he finds something better. “You’ll always be my girlfriend / I’ll always be your friend” — how sad is that?

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  85. OOS wrote:

    Hmm, never really gave the lyrics a really good listen before, and I thought that he said “I’ll always be your man”. That is kinda sad, actually. Kind of reminds me of A Midsummer Nights Dream. Although, the music always seemed to have this almost euphoric sound to me, it’s a nice contrast in my opinion.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
  86. Soyrev wrote:

    My bad to Hup_Y, his comment was awaiting moderation for DAYS. I’ll quote him here so people don’t have to go digging for it:

    “Good lord, for a start the chords aren’t the same as Bohemian Rhapsody – a similarity only emerged when the full-band studio version added that counter-melody on the piano (plus synth strings) that helped provide a Bo Rap feeling. I’m not sure why this is setting off the “OMG I’ve caught Rivers out for being a fraud” alarm bells, but then again I first heard Bo Rap 18 years a go and not yesterday, LOL.

    Furthermore, Rivers appears to have demo’d the song on a downtuned acoustic guitar – any musical similarity can only have been accidental. But yes, I accept Rivers is a fraud and will burn my CDs accordingly.”

    I think we’ve come to a general consensus that this is a reference and not a rip-off, but I don’t think the similarity is a coincidence. That piano countermelody is pretty much identical, and the lyrical connection just seals it.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  87. ThomYorke wrote:

    Alright, i just listened to Devotion about 60 times, and although Rivers says “friend” in the beginning and middle of the song, you can make a VERY strong case that he switches it to “I’ll always be your MAN” in the final line of the song.

    Regardless, I’ve never found Devotion to be depressing, in fact, I’ve always found it incredibly uplifting, Soy. It’s a song that shows Rivers realizing how stupid his vanity has been while a quality woman has been under his nose all along. The IQ 20 points low thing combined with his knock on his own looks is just classic =w= self-deprecation. In this case, he’s even applying it to someone else too. Besides, what’s wrong with being honest enough to admit the perfect girl may not be freakin Einstien, but she’s still perfect for you? Rivers is realizing that his impossible standards are quite possibly hypocritical, and unnecessary for true love.

    Even when Rivers was being an ass and ignoring this poor girl, she stood by hoping that one day he would come to his senses. By the end of the song, Rivers is apologetically pouring his heart out and taking ownership that he fucked up. He too is now willing to be devoted to her, fully realizing she was the right pick all along.

    I understand your perspective on the song, Soy, but I think you’re approaching it all wrong. This kind of subtle duality doesn’t exist in most current weezer songs. THIS kind of writing is why songs like this is TRUE classics. It’s meaning doesn’t’ come right out and punch you in the mouth. Although it seems obvious, upon further reflection, I think there’s an uplifting theme here that’s hidden in the wide open.

    I know this thread isn’t about Devotion, but I love this song too much to leave this string of conversation alone.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  88. allpwrtoslaves wrote:

    i dont think that rivers really referenced Bohemian, well at least lyrically. the piano is a slightly different story tho.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  89. Soyrev wrote:

    Queen’s “too late, my time has come” and later, “i don’t want to die,” vs. Weezer’s “now, I have to die” — and the general musings on death that those sections in each song that ensue — is a pretty direct correlation. There’s really no question about this at all.

    And Thom, I respect your argument, but we’ll have to save it for later. I’d have to listen to the song again, and I’m not prepared to do that…(VERY heavy!)

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  90. OOS wrote:

    I just wanted to add that your interpretation of the song, Soy, is more what I would reply to No Other One, while Devotion is the realization that they can make the best of their relationship, and that they can both make something of the situation. That’s just my interpretation, though. In any case, I don’t really think that the themes are depressing enough to make you not want to listen to it, though maybe something happened to you in life that the song reminds you of, i’m not sure. In any case, your right in that this should be reserved for later.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  91. Soyrev wrote:

    Just listened to “Bohemian Rhapsody” again. Hear how Mercury sings “sends shivers down my spine” and there’s a percussion overdub meant to mimic the sound of that shiver? It’s just like the whiplash sound and the clapping in “Pig.” Again, the direct inspiration and reference is CERTAINLY no mistake or coincidence…

    Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  92. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    Question: Could I Don’t Want to Let You Go ever exist on the same album as Pig? (i.e. an alternate universe Red Album w/ a good tracklist).

    I really enjoy both songs and think they are both better than many of TRA’s current batch, but they do sound pretty damn similar. Thoughts?

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink
  93. Soyrev wrote:

    I say no. I was actually pretty shocked when I read the Alone 2 liner notes and Cuomo made no mention of “Pig” — IDWTLYG is definitely a rewrite of that song.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  94. OOS wrote:

    I actually think that they’re different enough to both warrant release, although one would probably have to be a b-side.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  95. Soyrev wrote:

    I’d be down with that — I mean, as it is, that’s basically what happened. Certainly couldn’t share space on the same disc though.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  96. OOS wrote:

    In any case, I think that we can all agree that at least ONE of them should’ve made it to Red. Both are really fantastic, in my opinion. These two are actually the reason that Deliverance! is my Weezer holy grail; if the rest of the material is as interesting as what we’ve gotten so far there could be some real gems in there.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
  97. Chuck wrote:

    “This Is The Way”
    “My Day Is Coming” (Confirmation from Karl)
    “I Don’t Want To Let You Go”

    these are all Deliverance! tracks.

    Monday, April 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  98. Soyrev wrote:

    Nice, nice. Sure forms the outlines of a pretty interesting crop of songs.

    Monday, April 6, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
  99. MS wrote:

    IDWTLYG is definitely not a re-write of this song. WHAT THE FUCK SOY. thats ridiculous.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
  100. Soyrev wrote:

    They’re so similar, it’s ridiculous. I know I’m not the only person who thinks so either. It’s just “Pig” with more traditional pop song structure/subject matter and less of the emotional power…But still a really good song. I love the little ’50s vocal line.

    And “Pig” now joins “Miss Sweeeney” in the hundred comment club. Seems like it’s Rivers’ best work in over a decade that really brings people out for discussion…Good to see.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  101. OOS wrote:

    I think that I Don’t Want To Let You Go has a similar melody, but it’s not THAT similar, in my opinion. I don’t know, which parts are similar?

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  102. MS wrote:

    similar sure, but it’s not the first time it’s happened in the time-line of Cuomo compositions.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  103. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    jesus there were a lot of comments in response to this. I missed a lot in England.

    I just listened to this. I can see the resemblance, but its pretty damn insignificant in my opinion. not huge at all. Pig is a beautiful fucking masterpiece, and there is no ripping of any kind going on here.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
  104. Soyrev wrote:

    OOS: The acoustic riff that starts “I Don’t Want To Let You Go” sounds like a cleaned up, nicely dressed version of the acoustic riff that starts “Pig.” The build in the verses is ridiculously similar, melodically and structurally (and even some lyrical overlaps — both songs mention how Cuomo’s friends react to the way he’s approaching his girl, in roughly the same spaces). Especially when the spare piano lines add in, those piano figures are almost identical! I would say listen to IGWTLYG at around 0:30 and the Rivers demo of “Pig” at around 0:53. But really, just the way the songs both build through the verses is the main similarity, especially when you consider the instrumentation, the way the acoustic riffs are very similar in progression and timbre, the spare piano lines that add in, how in both songs the verses are FILLED with words/vocal melody…IDWTLYG has a proper chorus and “Pig” does not, so that’s where the similarities start to taper off, but outside of that I’m not sure how one would fail to notice it…Hell, even in IDWTLYG’s wordless bridge, where Cuomo’s going “ooooh, whoa-ho-oh” in the foreground — that sounds a LOT like what he does during the end of the “Pig” climax (“ooooh whooooaaa / they called me pig,” that part).

    And it makes sense that IDWTLYG is like a cleaned up, pop and simplified revisioning of “Pig,” seeing how Cuomo was experimenting with both pop and experimental drafts of songs at this point — we know how “The Angel and The One” was a rewrite of the traditional verse/chorus “Bad Girl” during the Deliverance era as well.

    MS: Well yeah, but I’m not saying this to at all discredit IDWTLYG or “Pig” — they’re both great songs and definitely different enough to warrant each being released (just not on the same album). Certainly some of Cuomo’s best work this century, although if we’re looking to compare then yes, “Pig” is clearly the better song. Now that I think about, songs like “Miss Sweeney,” TAATO and “The Spider” match a lot of the Blue and Pinkerton era’s material, in my opinion, but I would say “Pig” transcends even that. As a standalone song I would put it above much of the Pinkerton era and most of the Blue — I’d put it on the same shelf of brilliance as songs like SIAS, OID, ATS, FFY, “Butterfly,” truly Cuomo’s best and most inspired moments. Though I’m sure lots of people would burn me at the stake for saying something like that.

    MNIJ: Presuming you’re talking about the “Bohemian Rhapsody” similarity, I agree. Makes the song cooler, actually. Inspired by Queen and Robinson Crusoe, that’s the kind of Cuomo I want to hear!

    Monday, April 13, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  105. CrippyBoy wrote:

    Well-written and thoughtful as always, Soy. If “Bohemian Rhapsody” was indeed a partial inspiration for “Pig,” Rivers needs to listen to some more Queen. Heck, we all need to listen to more Queen.

    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  106. Soyrev wrote:

    There’s also a bit of similarity in the piano (and wordless climax) in this song and the Beach Boys/Dennis Wilson rarity “Barbara”…though that may just be coincidence. Cool to hear though.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 7:27 am | Permalink
  107. OOS wrote:

    Karl said that there’s been a couple times that he’s pointed out similarities between two songs and gotten them off a tracklist; maybe Pig is one of them? I mean, if Rivers removed YWGWMT (one of his best songs ever, in my opinion) from SFTBH because of a vague similarity to another song, maybe Pig was taken out of consideration when someone brought up these points? Granted, they’re pretty small, and not ripping off other tracks in any way, but still, Rivers is strange.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink
  108. Soyrev wrote:

    I think Rivers took “Pig” off the album due to his subconscious (yet uncontrollable) compulsion to make the shittiest album possible from a given session. No more, no less.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  109. OOS wrote:

    That’s not necessarily true, if it was we would’ve gotten TITW as the closer instead of TAATO, and MDIC instead of Pork N Beans.

    In any case, though, yeah for the most part that seems true.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  110. Soyrev wrote:

    I don’t think either of those songs were recorded in any session for TRA. Just for argument’s sake. 😛

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  111. OOS wrote:

    That’s cause they (wisely) dropped them because they wanted to pursue better material. Still, I guess you’re right. I’m still using my example, though, because we don’t have any other Red demos.

    As an aside, does anyone else find it infuriating that we got daily updates for the boring Mala-era, and lots of b-sides and live performance from Green, and yet for MB and Red (which seem to be far more interesting periods), we’ve got almost nothing?

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  112. Soyrev wrote:

    Yeah, that sucks a lot. I’m grateful when we get anything from any era — even when the band shits out a turd like “O Lisa,” I want it — but it’s depressing that MB and TRA clearly have the best outtakes/stories of any post-Pink record and they were kept so hush-hush (much like A7, which, good or bad, promises to be the biggest spectacle of Weezer’s career).

    That said, as far as live b-sides go, the one on the Beverly Hills single — “Butterfly” — is as good as it gets. What an improbably beautiful arrangement!

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  113. OOS wrote:

    What a strange choice to pair with BvH. I’ll have to track that down.

    Also, A7 will be interesting. To be honest, i’m not sure how much of a spectacle it’ll be, because outside of the Weezer hardcore, no one knows that it exists.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink
  114. Soyrev wrote:

    Yes, but with all the outside writers and musicians and whatnot…It’s definitely going to be a spectacle. Even moreso than Red.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Permalink
  115. ThomYorke wrote:

    Perhaps Rivers has kept more quiet about band goings-on because he plans to write his book some day? He figures we’ll hear about it sooner or later?

    I don’t know – just throwin’ it out there.

    Friday, July 3, 2009 at 6:49 am | Permalink
  116. OOS wrote:

    Perhaps. He certainly is a good writer.

    Also, i’m still hoping that the collaborations aren’t for A7. I know that i’m wrong, though.

    Friday, July 3, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  117. Soyrev wrote:

    I doubt Rivers, in whatever book he ends up writing, is going to detail every little thing we’ll want to know about every session they do…

    Friday, July 3, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  118. OOS wrote:

    No, but maybe he still wants to save the important stuff for whenever he wants to release it.

    Friday, July 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  119. Soyrev wrote:

    I forgot this sucker had so many comments! Good times.

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink
  120. Soyrev wrote:

    And I just realized, according to, this is my most-played Weezer song (with “Say It Ain’t So” in second, “Getchoo” in third, and “Miss Sweeney” in fourth). What a classic!

    Friday, October 2, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
  121. David wrote:

    Just listened to this song for the first time in ages. It’s fucking INCREDIBLE, isn’t it?

    That falsetto near the end of the chorus and then the last 2 minutes glorious sound is just amazing, definitely way up there with best Weezer moments ever.

    Love this song so much.

    Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 4:32 am | Permalink
  122. Soyrev wrote:

    At this point, it probably moves me more than any other Weezer song, with the exception of “Only In Dreams.”

    Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  123. brado8 wrote:

    It’s fantastic, no doubt. I prefer ‘Miss Sweeney’ if push comes to shove.

    Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  124. GuessWho wrote:

    The Angel and the One > Pig > Miss Sweeney.


    Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  125. danup wrote:

    I was listening to this the other day and I finally heard him saying “they call me pig” at the end. It’s weird—I had read this entry, I’m pretty sure I’d read the actual lyrics, and I’ve listened to it over and over, but for some reason those vocals had never struck me as words. Did this happen to anyone else?

    It’s okay; I was the last person to see the FedEx arrow and hear “I L O V E Y O U” in Death and Destruction, too.

    Monday, March 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  126. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    I L O V E Y O U in DnD? Okay, second to last apparently. what is that?

    Monday, March 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
  127. Soyrev wrote:

    At the end of the “Death and Destruction,” Cuomo slowly spells out “I love you,” letter-by-letter. A little cheesy, but kinda cool. I like that song.

    Monday, March 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  128. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    Ah, I see. Always thought it was just random oh-ing and ooo-ing. DnD has definitely grown on me though. I dig it now.

    Monday, March 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  129. OOS wrote:

    I never listened to DnD. I only got through the first 30 seconds, which I liked a lot and thought had a very morose, classic rock feel to them. Then I got sidetracked, and i’ve really never felt the need to listen to Maladroit since, so that song sort of fell through the cracks.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  130. Soyrev wrote:

    That makes no sense. You heard a Weezer song that you liked a lot, didn’t finish it, and never went back to it? I can’t imagine someone doing that but also being interested enough in the band to, say, read this website.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink
  131. Melack wrote:

    I have probably never finished Maladroit as a whole.

    Friday, March 12, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink
  132. OOS wrote:

    To be honest, the site that I was streaming the album on closed, and I totally forgot that DnD existed, so never went back to try it again. And now my speakers are blown so I cant. It also didnt help that this correlated with the post-Raditude “I dont care about Weezer” attitude that most (including me) seem to have at this point.

    In any case, i’m totally gonna go try it again once I get my speakers back up.

    Anyway, Pig, great song huh?

    Friday, March 12, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink
  133. Soyrev wrote:

    Melack: But you’ve heard it all at some point or another!

    OOS: Yes, a great song indeed. I really don’t know why we’re talking about Maladroit here, of all places.

    Friday, March 12, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  134. OOS wrote:

    I dont know either. But yeah, great song. It really shows that trying to be universal doesnt really help one bit; heres a song that absolutely NO one can relate to, and yet it rings truer then anything that Rivers has made for a decade. Why? Because he infuses it with little details and so much emotion that you believe what hes saying, and get into the mindset of the character that he’s created.

    Was a reason ever given for why this wasnt on Red? I honestly cant see why. The fanbase loved it, and considering Rivers constant need to please, one would think that Pig would be a shoe in.

    Friday, March 12, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  135. OOS wrote:

    I dont know either. But yeah, great song. It really shows that trying to be universal doesnt really help one bit; heres a song that absolutely NO one can relate to, and yet it rings truer then anything that Rivers has made for a decade. Why? Because he infuses it with little details and so much emotion that you believe what hes saying, and get into the mindset of the character that he’s created.

    Was a reason ever given for why this wasnt on Red? I honestly cant see why. The fanbase loved it, and considering Rivers constant need to please, one would think that Pig would be a shoe in.

    Friday, March 12, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  136. Soyrev wrote:

    From the “Harvard Crimson Interview: Director’s Cut” edition…

    THC: Okay, so getting back to the original question: What are some of the topics that you’re writing about, now, in that case?

    RC: I’m working on a song called “Pig,” which, ah, follows the life of a pig, from when it’s just a little piglet on the farm, playing with other animals, to a point where it’s grown up and married and has kids, but then it eventually [laughs], it gets slaughtered!

    THC: Hopefully, this isn’t semi-autobiographical?

    RC: Not intentionally, no. And ah, but he’s singing to the farmer at the end of the song. He’s forgiving him. As he’s going to be slaughtered.

    THC: That’s very appropriate for Easter, I suppose.

    RC: [Laughs]

    Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink
  137. Soyrev wrote:

    I like that for a couple of reasons. One, it shows that Rivers really spent a lot of time working on this little gem….And I like how he says it’s “not intentionally” autobiographical. 😀

    Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
  138. ahoutman wrote:

    Poor Walfred must have been devastated.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  139. andybedingfield wrote:

    The final paragraph of your essay is perfect. Much like this song.

    Random: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is stupid at times, but I want to see Weezer make it in before I die. I wonder if that’ll ever be in the cards. Anyone who writes a song this good deserves as much.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink
  140. Mr. Sweeney wrote:

    True, the Rock Hall has some stupidity in it’s hallowed halls (Alice Cooper anyone?) But there’s a hell of a lot of brilliance in there as well. Where else can you say Run DMC, The Beatles, and Nirvana in the same sentence?

    And as for Weezer’s chance of getting in, I bet that they will. Those two first albums are beloved by critics to, not just us rabid fans. I think you’re eligible 25 years after the release of the first record, so we should only need to wait eight years to see their name on the ballot. Well, hopefully.

    Friday, March 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  141. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Considering many consider Pinkerton to be the birth of emo (which is mostly terrible now), I think Weezer should definitely be inducted — they pretty much invented a new genre of music… or brought it to higher prominence anyway. I’m not sure if they will be inducted though, considering their lackluster productivity after the first two records. It’ll be interesting to see though, those first two albums influenced a lot of bands.

    Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink
  142. yim_yecker wrote:

    They’re already in there guys! Well, they donated the El Scorcho video’s =W= sign to the gift shop and you can see it lit up at night when you drive by. As for the museum, they leave out a lot of the great bands because I think they’re more inclined to show artists who have made generous donations. I didn’t see ANY Queen or Beach Boys stuff on display when I just went a couple weeks ago. But I guess they think it’s okay to display one of Slash’s top hats in the actual museum part (when him or his band have not yet even been inducted!!) like I even care. Haha but there is a lot of cool stuff and a lot of cool reading/information. Nirvana isn’t in there yet, but they will get in there first I hope and then Weezer!!

    Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  143. clonus wrote:

    I’d like to think Rivers would refuse on principle until they induct KISS. 😉

    Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  144. andybedingfield wrote:

    Clonus: Haha. Kiss needs to be in there. I’m not even a huge fan but they were so important to rock music.

    Mr. Sweeney: I know, there are a few hip hop artists I wouldn’t mind seeing along with RunDMC, although that makes it hard to call it the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. And it took so long for Alice Cooper, Van Halen and deserving artists…I actually want Rush in soon, it’s a travesty they aren’t in.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  145. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I think Nirvana has to be a first ballot entry into the Rock hall… come on, they just have to be. Kiss also needs to be inducted, weird that they aren’t in there already.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

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