Pigs In Zen

Pigs in Zen or Pig’s In Zen is a Jane’s Addiction song that was written in 1985.  A live version appears on the band’s self-titled album Jane’s Addiction and a studio version appears as a bonus track on the CD and cassette version of Nothing’s Shocking.

The existence of the apostrophe in the title is a subject of some curiosity, and has created the debate of which version is correct: the plural of pig (multiple pigs in zen) vs. the contraction pig’s (the pig is in zen).  On Jane’s Addiction’s self-titled debut, the song is listed as Pigs in Zen”, while on cassette and CD versions of Nothing’s Shocking, the track is listed as “Pig’s in Zen”.

Pigs in Zen is often considered the band’s “anything goes” songs. The band would frequently work in some new jams during the songs. Perry also created countless memorable “perryisms” during live performances. This song is also where the origins of songs like Bobhaus and Blood Rag are rooted.

Lyrics

Jane’s Addiction version:

Get up!
Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Pigs in the mud
When he tires
Pigs in zen
Pigs in zen
Pig is nude
Unashamed
Pigs in zen
Pigs in zen

Talkin’ bout the pig
The pig
The pig – uh
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pig
Yeah! A god damn pig!
Lets go!

Pig mounts sow
When he’s wound
Pigs in zen
Pigs in zen
And pig eats shit
But only when he hungers
Pig’s in zen
I know
The pigs in zen

I’m talking talkin’ bout the pig
The pig
The pig – uh
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pig
Yeah, goddamn pig
Lets go!

Oh baby!
I know about war!
But I just wanna fuck!
I know about pain and suffering and being cold
But I just wanna fuck!
Pig is led to the slaughter
Pig is led to the sla….
This he said, is the price some pay
For a simple life oh!

How he feels
That’s proof for him
Talking ’bout the pig
The pig
The pig
The pig
The pig
The god damn pig
The pig – uh
Pa-pa-pa-pa pig!

Nothing’s Shocking version:

Pig goes in the mud
When he tires
Pig’s in zen
Pig’s in zen
Pig is nude
Unashamed
Pig’s in zen
Pig’s in zen

Talkin’ bout the pig
the pig
the pig – uh
pa-pa-pa-pa-pig
oh yeah,
the god damn pig!
Lets go!

Pig mounts sow
When he’s wound
Pig’s in zen
Pig’s in zen
Pig eats shit
But only when he hungers
Pig’s in zen
I know, the Pig’s in zen

Talkin’ bout the pig
The pig
The pig – uh!
The pa-pa-pa-pa-pig, yeah
The god damn pig
Lets go!

Yeah, so roses are red
I made up the rest
If you got some big fucking secret
Then why don’t you sing me something?
I’m in the midst of a trauma
Leave a message- I’ll call you back
Leave it by the bed
Some people should die
That’s just unconscious knowledge
Because, because the bigger you get
The wider you’re spread
You gotta depend on me
Now your vision is dead
The more your dream is dead
Visions…
It gets sucked from my eye
Like an eagle’s claw

The pig
The pig
The pig
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pig

Demo version:

Pig goes in the mud
When he tires
Pig’s in zen
Pig’s in zen
Pig is nude
Unashamed
Pig’s in zen
Pig’s in zen

Talkin’ bout the pig
the pig
the pig – uh
pa-pa-pa-pa-pig
oh yeah,
the god damn pig!
Go!

Pig mounts sow
When he’s wound
Pig’s in zen
Pig’s in zen
Pig eats shit
But only when he hungers
Pig’s in zen
I know, the Pig’s in zen

Talkin’ bout the pig
The pig
The pig – uh!
The pa-pa-pa-pa-pig, yeah
The god damn pig
Go!
I say
Away
Take off!

Pig is lead to the slaughter
Pig is lead to the slaughter
This is said
Is the price some pay
For a simple life oh!

How he feels
That’s proof for him
Talking ’bout the pig
The pig
The pig
The pig
The pig
The god damn pig
The pig – uh
Pa-pa-pa-pa pig!

Known Performances by Jane's Addiction: (176)

  • 1986/01/10 - Los Angeles, CA, Black Radio Club
  • 1986/01/?? - Venice, CA, Radio Tokyo
  • 1986/03/?? - Venice, CA, Radio Tokyo
  • 1986/04/26 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Räji's
  • 1986/08/28 - West Hollywood, CA, Roxy Theatre, The
  • 1986/08/?? - Los Angeles, CA, Co Co Club, The
  • 1986/11/13 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Pyramid, The
  • 1987/01/22 - Los Angeles, CA, Cooperage Hall, University of California Los Angeles
  • 1987/01/26 - West Hollywood, CA, Roxy Theatre, The
  • 1987/03/29 - Fullerton, CA, Goodies
  • 1987/07/08 - Sacramento, CA, Cattle Club
  • 1987/09/03 - La Verne, CA, Topper's Cafe
  • 1987/09/27 - Houston, TX, Rockefeller's
  • 1987/10/17 - San Juan Capistrano, CA, Coach House
  • 1988/09/21 - Pittsburgh, PA, Syria Mosque Ballroom
  • 1988/09/27 - London, England, Camden Palace
  • 1988/10/11 - Houston, TX, Xcess Club
  • 1988/10/15 - Nashville, TN, Cannery, The
  • 1988/10/27 - Norfolk, VA, Boathouse, The
  • 1988/11/17 - Seattle, WA, Paramount Theater
  • 1988/11/23 - Chicago, IL, Cabaret Metro
  • 1988/11/25 - Chicago, IL, Cabaret Metro
  • 1988/11/27 - Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry
  • 1988/11/28 - Madison, WI, Wally Gators
  • 1988/12/04 - Detroit, MI, St. Andrew's Hall
  • 1988/12/07 - Cleveland, OH, Peabody's Down Under
  • 1988/12/12 - Providence, RI, Living Room
  • 1988/12/14 - New York City, NY, Cat Club
  • 1988/12/15 - Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
  • 1988/12/31 - Los Angeles, CA, Embassy Hotel Theatre, The
  • 1989/01/04 - Tucson, AZ, Tucson Gardens
  • 1989/01/06 - Phoenix, AZ, Underground, The
  • 1989/01/07 - Phoenix, AZ, Underground, The
  • 1989/01/13 - Austin, TX, Backroom, The
  • 1989/01/14 - Houston, TX, Numbers, The
  • 1989/01/16 - New Orleans, LA, Tipitina's
  • 1989/01/23 - Leeds, England, Warehouse
  • 1989/01/25 - Manchester, England, International
  • 1989/01/28 - Sheffield, England, Leadmill, The
  • 1989/02/03 - Miami, FL, Woody's
  • 1989/02/08 - Atlanta, GA, Cotton Club
  • 1989/02/11 - Athens, GA, Uptown Lounge
  • 1989/02/12 - Nashville, TN, Cannery, The
  • 1989/02/16 - Raleigh, NC, Rialto Theatre
  • 1989/02/17 - Norfolk, VA, Boathouse, The
  • 1989/02/20 - Philadelphia, PA, Theater of the Living Arts
  • 1989/02/25 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, L'Amour
  • 1989/02/26 - Trenton, NJ, City Gardens
  • 1989/03/01 - Boston, MA, Citi Club
  • 1989/03/04 - Ottawa, ON, Barrymores
  • 1989/03/05 - Toronto, ON, Concert Hall
  • 1989/03/08 - Lakewood, OH, Phantasy Theatre
  • 1989/03/10 - Chicago, IL, Riviera Theatre
  • 1989/03/11 - Milwaukee, WI, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Ballroom
  • 1989/03/12 - Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue Club
  • 1989/03/29 - Seattle, WA, Paramount Theater
  • 1989/04/11 - San Francisco, CA, Stone, The
  • 1989/04/12 - Santa Clara, CA, One Step Beyond
  • 1989/04/14 - Portland, OR, Starry Night
  • 1989/04/20 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/04/21 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/04/22 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/04/25 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/04/26 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/04/28 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/04/29 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, John Anson Ford Theatre
  • 1989/05/01 - San Diego, CA, Montezuma Hall, San Diego State University
  • 1989/05/08 - San Francisco, CA, Fillmore Auditorium
  • 1990/06/29 - Mexico City, Mexico, La Ultima Carcajada de la Cumbancha
  • 1990/07/07 - Mt. Baldy, CA, Forest Preserve
  • 1990/08/21 - London, England, Brixton Academy
  • 1990/08/22 - London, England, Subterania
  • 1990/09/26 - Birmingham, England, Birmingham Institute
  • 1990/10/02 - Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Riverside
  • 1990/10/03 - Nottingham, England, Rock City
  • 1990/10/05 - London, England, Astoria Theatre
  • 1990/10/09 - Paris, France, Elysée Montmartre
  • 1990/10/17 - Hamburg, Germany, Markthalle
  • 1990/10/19 - Amsterdam, Netherlands, Melkweg
  • 1990/10/31 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Henry Fonda Theatre
  • 1990/11/03 - La Jolla, CA, Price Center Ballroom, University of California San Diego
  • 1990/11/08 - Houston, TX, Unicorn, The
  • 1990/11/13 - Chapel Hill, NC, Memorial Hall
  • 1990/11/15 - Norfolk, VA, Boathouse, The
  • 1990/11/19 - Upper Darby, PA, Tower Theater
  • 1990/11/20 - New York City, NY, Ritz, The
  • 1990/11/21 - New York City, NY, Ritz, The
  • 1990/11/25 - Toronto, ON, Concert Hall
  • 1990/11/27 - Cleveland, OH, Agora Theatre
  • 1990/11/28 - Detroit, MI, Latin Quarter
  • 1990/11/30 - Chicago, IL, Aragon Ballroom
  • 1990/12/01 - Milwaukee, WI, Central Park Ballroom
  • 1990/12/09 - Seattle, WA, Seattle Center Arena
  • 1990/12/11 - Portland, OR, Chiles Center, University of Portland
  • 1990/12/15 - San Francisco, CA, Civic Auditorium
  • 1990/12/18 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Palladium
  • 1991/01/28 - Tempe, AZ, Arizona State University Activity Center
  • 1991/02/04 - Universal City, CA, Universal Amphitheatre
  • 1991/02/12 - Kansas City, KS, Memorial Hall
  • 1991/02/20 - Miami, FL, Bayfront Park Amphitheater
  • 1991/03/07 - Manchester, England, Manchester Academy
  • 1991/08/11 - Stanhope, NJ, Waterloo Village
  • 2001/11/11 - Las Vegas, NV, Joint, The @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
  • 2002/07/18 - Las Vegas, NV, Rain In The Desert @ The Palm Resorts Casino
  • 2002/07/20 - San Francisco, CA, Warfield Theatre
  • 2002/07/28 - Nigata, Japan, Naeba Ski Resort
  • 2002/08/19 - London, England, Kentish Town Forum
  • 2002/08/22 - Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium, Pukkelpop Festival
  • 2002/08/23 - Reading, England, Richfield Avenue
  • 2002/12/28 - Denver, CO, Fillmore Auditorium
  • 2003/01/30 - Melbourne, Australia, Metro
  • 2003/02/07 - Santa Barbara, CA, Arlington Theater
  • 2003/07/09 - Maryland Heights, MO, UMB Bank Pavilion
  • 2003/07/16 - Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
  • 2003/07/20 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
  • 2003/08/05 - West Palm Beach, FL, Sound Advice Ampitheatre
  • 2003/09/23 - London, ON, John Labatt Centre
  • 2008/10/23 - Los Angeles, CA, La Cita Bar
  • 2009/05/08 - West Palm Beach, FL, Cruzan Amphitheatre
  • 2009/05/09 - Tampa, FL, Ford Amphitheatre
  • 2009/05/10 - Atlanta, GA, Lakewood Amphitheatre
  • 2009/05/12 - Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
  • 2009/05/14 - Albuquerque, NM, Journal Pavilion
  • 2009/05/15 - Phoenix, AZ, Cricket Wireless Pavilion
  • 2009/05/16 - Chula Vista, CA, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
  • 2009/05/18 - Las Vegas, NV, Pearl, The
  • 2009/05/20 - Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 2009/05/21 - Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara County Bowl
  • 2009/05/22 - Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
  • 2009/05/24 - George, WA, Gorge Amphitheatre
  • 2009/05/26 - Greenwood Village, CO, Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
  • 2009/05/27 - Kansas City, MO, Starlight Theatre
  • 2009/05/29 - Columbus, OH, Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
  • 2009/05/30 - Noblesville, IN, Verizon Wireless Music Center
  • 2009/05/31 - Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
  • 2009/06/02 - Toronto, ON, Molson Amphitheatre
  • 2009/06/03 - Mansfield, MA, Comcast Center
  • 2009/06/05 - Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
  • 2009/06/06 - Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
  • 2009/06/07 - Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • 2009/06/09 - Columbia, MD, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • 2009/06/10 - Burgettstown, PA, Post-Gazette Pavilion
  • 2009/06/12 - Charlotte, NC, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  • 2009/06/13 - Portsmouth, VA, nTelos Wireless Pavilion
  • 2009/06/14 - Wallingford, CT, Chevrolet Theatre
  • 2010/05/05 - Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Bardot
  • 2010/12/30 - Aspen, CO, Belly Up Aspen
  • 2012/08/25 - Omaha, NE, Orpheum Theater
  • 2012/08/28 - Magna, UT, Great Salt Air, The
  • 2012/10/23 - Bakersfield, CA, Bakersfield Fox Theater
  • 2013/08/24 - Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
  • 2014/05/08 - Las Vegas, NV, Brooklyn Bowl
  • 2014/05/09 - Las Vegas, NV, Brooklyn Bowl
  • 2014/05/10 - Las Vegas, NV, Brooklyn Bowl
  • 2014/08/20 - London, England, 02 Academy Brixton
  • 2014/08/21 - Manchester, England, 02 Apollo Manchester
  • 2014/08/24 - Oslo, Norway, Sentrum Scene
  • 2014/09/12 - Chicago, IL, Humboldt Park
  • 2014/09/20 - West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Sunset Street Music Festival
  • 2014/09/27 - Baltimore, MD, Carroll Park
  • 2014/11/19 - Denver, CO, Ogden Theatre
  • 2014/11/22 - Las Vegas, NV, Brooklyn Bowl
  • 2015/05/13 - Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn Bowl
  • 2015/05/15 - Sayreville, NJ, Starland Ballroom
  • 2015/05/18 - Huntington, NY, The Paramount
  • 2015/05/19 - Port Chester, NY, Capitol Theatre
  • 2015/05/21 - Cleveland, OH, House of Blues Cleveland
  • 2015/05/22 - Indianapolis, IN, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • 2015/07/07 - Columbus, OH, LC Pavilion
  • 2015/07/10 - Pittsburgh, PA, Stage AE
  • 2015/07/19 - Colwood, BC, West Shore Parks and Recreation
  • 2015/07/21 - Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom
  • 2015/07/22 - Seattle, WA, Showbox Sodo
  • 2015/07/24 - Fairbanks, AK, Blue Loon
  • 2015/07/25 - Anchorage, AK, Moose's Tooth Pub
  • 2016/05/16 - Philadelphia, PA, Electric Factory, The