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Time for Taxman: Songs with taxing lyrics
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Time for Taxman: Songs with taxing lyrics


SIOUX CITY | Americans have one more day, until Tuesday, to file their 2016 federal income tax returns. The tax season is a time that puts many people in a foul mood, including some musicians.

Some music groups, including some top quality bands, have written songs lamenting the payment of taxes or the thumb the government pushes on their lives by the requirement of taxes (for essential services to benefit society, in theory).

Since The Beatles are the best music group ever, it isn't surprising to note the Fab Four wrote the most notable song mentioning taxes. Here are some of the best songs referencing taxes.

(1) "Taxman," The Beatles.

In one of the top songs by George Harrison, he sets the tone immediately: "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."

(2) "After Taxes," Johnny Cash.

Cash introduces one version of the song by saying tax gripes are universal. Often a populist, Cash sings, "You can dream about vacation in the sun/ You can dream but you can’t never have you one/ ’Cause by the time your good old Uncle Sam gets done/ You’ve got just enough for gas."

(3) "Taxman, Mr. Thief," Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick always had a poppy vein that owed to The Beatles, and channeled that group with "Taxman, Mr. Thief." The lyrics cite the British official, Mr. Heath, that Harrison also name-checked, so they seemed to be drawing heavily from The Beatles.

"You work hard, you went hungry/Now the Taxman is out to get you.”

(4) "Movin' Out," Billy Joel.

Joel laments people working so hard to get ahead, with second jobs and the like, but the tax take is galling: "You can pay Uncle Sam with your overtime/ Is that all you get for your money?”

(5) "Shove," L7.

Not a highly known song, but abrasive female rockers L7 in "Shove" cite the IRS among the many entities bothering the singer, along with bosses and landlords. Or you, know, The Man.

(The original version of this story incorrectly said L7 played in the Sioux City festival Saturday in the Park.)


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