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The Manson Family’s Susan Atkins Said The Beatles’ ‘Piggies’ Captured the Cult’s Mindset




  • Susan Atkins said the Manson Family got immersed The Beatles’ “Piggies” and lots of drugs.
  • The Manson Family interpreted “Piggies” as an attack on a certain kind of person.
  • “Piggies” is forever associate with the murder of Sharon Tate.

Susan Atkins, a member of the Manson Family, said The Beatles‘ “Piggies” captured the cult’s mindset. Subsequently, the track became associated with an episode from the Manson murders. Despite its horrible history, “Piggies” inspired covers by some notable singers.

Susan Atkins said the Manson Family felt The Beatles’ ‘Piggies’ was about apathy

In her 2005 book Child of Satan, Child of God, Atkins said the Manson Family became fixated on The White Album. “The Beatles’ White Album — which, it must be understood, we were being immersed in, along with consuming unimaginable quantities of drugs —had a song that summed up much of our thinking,” she wrote. “It was entitled ‘Piggies’ and seemed to liken the straight people of the world to pigs.” “Straight” in 1960s slang referred to respectable people.

“It spoke of little piggies crawling in the dirt, and bigger piggies in starched white shirts stirring up the dirt,” she added. “It criticized the unconcern of all the piggies about what was going on around them and said they needed a ‘damn good whacking.’ And the final verse told of the piggies and their piggy wives out for dinner, ‘clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.’” The Manson Family felt it was their duty to fight back against society.

The Manson Family’s Susan Atkins later wrote the word ‘Pig’ in blood on Sharon Tate’s door

The word “pig” had a horrid connection to the Manson murders. Atkins recalled seeing Sharon Tate, the most famous victim of the cult, lying on the floor after she’d been stabbed. Tate was covered in blood.

“I took the blood-dipped towel and went to the front door,” Atkins recalled. “On the bottom section, I wrote the word ‘Pig.’ Then I threw the towel back into the room and left.” To this day, “Piggies” is often associated with what Atkins did.


“Piggies” was never a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s parent album, The White Album, was huge. The White Album topped the Billboard 200 for a total of nine weeks. The album spent 215 weeks on the chart altogether.

The Official Charts Company says “Piggies” never charted in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, The White Album was No. 1 in the U.K. for eight weeks, remaining on the chart for 37 weeks. It’s not clear if The White Album performed better in the U.S. than the U.K. because of America’s continuing morbid fascination with the Manson Family.

Many of The Beatles’ songs inspired numerous covers. “Piggies” was perhaps too strange to become a standard. However, a number of cutting-edge musicians recorded the song, including Theodore Bikel, Pumajaw, Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba, and Phish.

“Piggies” is a perfectly innocuous song that the Manson murders tarnished.

Source: Cheat Sheet


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