Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “March of the Pigs” — Nine Inch Nails (1994)

marchofthepigsAll the pigs are all lined up
I give you all that you want
Take the skin and peel it back
Now doesn’t that make you feel better?

Strictly speaking this is nowhere near a “Halloween” song. It isn’t even really a “scary” song, per se, although it’s damn eerie and spooky in delivery. Nonetheless, Nine Inch Nails’s March of the Pigs joins our list of Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs simply because it’s a damn good song that evokes a strong guttural response from the listener. It’s unsettling, cacophanous, jarring, and pretty much rips you out of whatever frame of mind you were comfortably resting inside before the tune erupts out of nowhere.

Plus let’s face it, the use of pigs as imagery is downright creepy. Just ask Roger Waters (when he’s not being a political hypocrite, brilliant artist as he is), as he mined that motif for the classic Animals album to great effect. Four legs good, two legs better, etc. Pigs and Orwellian-styled nightmares just seem to go together like Shields and Yarnell. The vision is that of greedy, flesh-devouring, crimson-eyed boar-creatures from some underworldly realm, caring for nothing but their own carnal, selfish, corporeal desires, a vicious, sadistic, solipsistic existence.

Trent Reznor paints a disturbing portrait of a blood-soaked bacchanale, of flesh being torn, of teeth bared and hateful desires fulfilled in a cannabalistic feast… the deeper meaning of which I’ll leave to the gale forces of interpretation. There’s a horrific symmetrical beauty in the ugliness on parade here. Run with that…

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