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'A Heavy Penalty...for Making Money' - 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Classic 'Taxman'

By Mark Judge | April 14, 2016 | 10:09am EDT
George Harrison (AP photo)

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of "Taxman," the classic Beatles song protesting high taxes.

The song was written by George Harrison and released in 1966 on the album "Revolver." In "The Beatles Anthology" documentary, Harrison explains the origin of the song: “In those days we paid 19 shillings and sixpence [96p] out of every pound, and with supertax and surtax and tax-tax it was ridiculous - a heavy penalty to pay for making money. That was a big turn-off for Britain. Anybody who ever made any money moved to America or somewhere else.”

Here's a video of George Harrison playing the song live in 1991:

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

Taxman!
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

Don't ask me what I want it for (Aahh Mr. Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more (Aahh Mr. Heath)
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

And you're working for no one but me
Taxman!

 

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