"Taxman" as written by and George Harrison....
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, 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.

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.


Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by penispump

"Taxman" as written by George Harrison

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Taxman song meanings
Add your thoughts

35 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI would have love to have heard "Taxman" sung at the Republican National Convention.
    shes_a_jaron September 23, 2004   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song is basically a complaint about the taxation. "One for you, nineteen for me" is a slam against Britain's highest tax bracket, which could claim 95% of the wealthy payer's income. The taxman is consistently portrayed as a cruel and greedy thief, looking to deprive people of their earnings even in death. (He even demands that you "Declare the pennies on your eyes" as taxable income.) It's as perfect a slam against rapacious taxation as I've ever heard.

    Some might question the moral consistency of the Beatles for this song, but it wasn't George Harrison who wrote that atonal "Imagine" commie crap. That was John Lennon, with his typical hypocrisy (what we'd call a "limousine liberal" these days). You'll notice he wasn't exactly giving up all his possessions that he wanted the rest of us to imagine doing without, though he certainly took leave of his reason, faith, and sanity with that evil song.

    On the whole, the Beatles were always very capitalistic and into making money on their songs. It's nothing to be ashamed of: what they were selling is what people wanted to buy, so the profit motive can't have done any damage to the quality of their singing. As Paul McCartney once said in an interview: "Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.'"

    I'd say this song earned them at least a jacuzzi.
    Inyarearon June 09, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhatever, I think this song satirizes the more liberal mindset of Western Europe in regard to taxation of their citizenry. George Harrison is a masterful songwriter despite what anybody says.
    OpinionHeadon January 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt their acerbic best. Well, second best. I like Back in the USSR better :)
    pkjunon April 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHas anyone heard George Harrison's live version of this song with eric Clapton? Good Lordm it's awesome. You should download it off Kazaa or something. You won't be disappointed.
    SgtPepperLHCBon September 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was written by george as an offshoot to the high taxes imposed on the beatles in britain. Heath was the prime minister and wilson was the chancellor of exchequer, i think. probably
    joeyjoejoeshabadooon April 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo. The song was written around 1966. Harold Wilson was Labour Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 while Edward Heath was the Leader of the Opposition (Conservative). There was an election in 1966 which Labour won, so good timing for the song by the Beatles. They were complaining that for very high-earners the tax on their income above a certain amount was 95% - but in all honesty there were so many loopholes to get around this that it smacks of nothing but greediness.
    Wyrmon May 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with wyrm with regards to greediness - it works better as an anthem for the working classes - the taxmen can suck my balls man
    i love the 'and you're working for no one but me' line
    meursaultsrevolveron September 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe rich are taxed disproportionately everywhere. And it kills economies. These "loopholes" are never quite enough to combat governmental greed. Or, is a government incapable of this?
    f1yankon December 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wouldn't be suprised if at some point the Republicans have used or will use this song in an attack ad on a Democrat.

    I agree that the "declare the pennies on your eyes" reference is pretty intellectual. I didn't hear about that practice until I saw it in the movie "Troy", and I didn't have Revolver back then. If I had, I probably would have made a really funny face when I suddenly made the connection.
    ultraspamboyon December 24, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain