The Beatles, ‘Taxman’

Monday, April 08, 2013

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when we sort through all of our receipts and forms and pay more than our fair share to Uncle Sam. As we’ve been trying to figure out just how much we owe, one song in particular has been going through our heads repeatedly, ‘Taxman’ by the Beatles.

Written by George Harrison, ‘Taxman’ kicked off their 1966 album ‘Revolver.’ The lyrics are a scathing comment on Britain’s high rate of taxation. While its opening line “Let me tell you how it will be / Here’s one for you, 19 for me” may seem hyperbolic, it was actually quite true. At the time, the wealthiest in Great Britain were taxed at 83 percent, with a “surtax” that added an extra 15 percent. The surtax was abolished in 1973.

As Harrison, who came from an impoverished background, began to make millions of pounds, he soon found out about the unfairness of these policies and lashed out about them in song.

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Written by: by Dave Lifton 

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