I Hate the Taxman

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Original lyrics to "Taxman" by George Harrison of the Beatles (1966)

(One, two, three, four, one two)

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 percent 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, Mr. Wilson)
If you don’t want to pay some more
(Ah, ah, Mr. Heath)
‘Cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman

Now my advise 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!)

Harrison: vocal, lead guitar
Lennon: backing vocal
McCartney: backing vocal, bass, lead guitar
Starr: drums, tambourine, cowbell

"I Hate the Taxman" by Harrison & Thornton (2006)

The revised lyrics change the "voice" of the song from that of an obnoxious tax collector on a power trip to that of a Rothbardian tax protester:

(One, two, three, four, one two)

Let me tell you how it will be
There’s none for you, its all for me
‘Cause I hate the taxman
Yeah, I hate the taxman

Even five percent appears too large
I’m determined to keep it all
‘Cause I hate the taxman
Yeah, I hate the taxman

(If you tax my car car) I’ll take to the streets
(If you tax my sit sit) I’ll kick your seat
(If you tax my heat heat) I’ll knock you cold
(If you tax my feet feet) I’ll kick your @#$%^&*(&^%$#$!!!

Taxman!

‘Cause I hate the taxman
Yeah, I hate the taxman

Don’t ask me what I want it for
(Ah, ah, Mr. Cheney)
So don’t you try to take some more
(Ah, ah, Mr. Bush)
‘Cause I hate the taxman
Yeah, I hate the taxman

Now my advise for those who try
(Taxman!)
I’ll stick these pennies in your eyes
(Taxman!)

‘Cause I hate the taxman
Yeah, I hate the taxman

And you’re working for no one, says me
(Taxman!)

Mark Thornton [send him mail] is an economist who lives in Auburn, Alabama. He is author of The Economics of Prohibition, is a senior fellow with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and is the Book Review Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is co-author of Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War and is the editor of The Quotable Mises.

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