Tunes of Liberty: Taxman (The Beatles)

Let me tell you how it will be; 
There’s one for you, nineteen for me. 
‘Cause I’m the taxman, 
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

These are the opening words to the Beatles’ hit song Taxman, and oh do they ever ring so true.

The Beatles released this song in their 1966 album Revolver as a political statement against the extremely high taxes imposed on them by the British government (which at this time was just “temporarily” levying these taxes to make up for wartime costs — yet many of these socialistic regulations, taxes, and laws stayed with the nation far into the late half of the 20th century.). This has led many Americans, Brits, and even Canadians (yes, they do listen to music) to personally identify with this song when filled with anti-taxation feelings.

The examples that the Beatles give to this funky beat seem truer everyday.

(if you drive a car, car;) – I’ll tax the street; 
(if you try to sit, sit;) – I’ll tax your seat; 
(if you get too cold, cold;) – I’ll tax the heat; 
(if you take a walk, walk;) – I’ll tax your feet. 

Maybe we ought to declare the pennies on our eyes when we die, seeing as there’s a death tax on top of all of that too.

Here’s the official song:

One, two, three, four… 
Hrmm! 
One, two, (one, two, three, four!) 

Let me tell you how it will be; 
There’s one for you, nineteen for me. 
‘Cause I’m the taxman, 
Yeah, I’m the taxman. 

Should five per cent appear too small, 
Be thankful I don’t take it all. 
‘Cause I’m the taxman, 
Yeah, I’m the taxman. 

(if you drive a car, car;) – I’ll tax the street; 
(if you try to sit, sit;) – I’ll tax your seat; 
(if you get too cold, cold;) – I’ll tax the heat; 
(if you take a walk, walk;) – I’ll tax your feet. 

Taxman! 

‘Cause I’m the taxman, 
Yeah, I’m the taxman. 

Don’t ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson) 
If you don’t want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath) 
‘Cause I’m the taxman, 
Yeah, I’m the taxman. 

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman) 
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman) 
‘Cause I’m the taxman, 
Yeah, I’m the taxman. 

And you’re working for no one but me. 

Taxman! 

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