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Folk songs about taxes?

GUEST,Abby the Spoon Lady 07 Apr 15 - 10:13 PM
Airymouse 07 Apr 15 - 10:26 PM
Bugsy 07 Apr 15 - 10:44 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 08 Apr 15 - 12:01 AM
Ged Fox 08 Apr 15 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Apr 15 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,DaveRo 08 Apr 15 - 03:58 AM
Thompson 08 Apr 15 - 05:12 AM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 15 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,# 08 Apr 15 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,# 08 Apr 15 - 08:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Apr 15 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,# 08 Apr 15 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,# 08 Apr 15 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,# 08 Apr 15 - 09:45 AM
GUEST 08 Apr 15 - 09:49 AM
Cool Beans 08 Apr 15 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Apr 15 - 10:32 AM
cnd 08 Apr 15 - 11:21 AM
Ernest 08 Apr 15 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Apr 15 - 10:02 PM
cnd 09 Apr 15 - 12:25 AM
GUEST,Dave 09 Apr 15 - 03:19 AM
GUEST 09 Apr 15 - 06:11 AM
GUEST 09 Apr 15 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,henryp 09 Apr 15 - 10:43 AM
Teribus 09 Apr 15 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,M 10 Apr 15 - 06:25 AM
Leadbelly 10 Apr 15 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,henryp 10 Apr 15 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,threelegsoman 11 Apr 15 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,henryp 11 Apr 15 - 05:59 AM
Jack Campin 11 Apr 15 - 02:32 PM
Jack Campin 11 Apr 15 - 02:51 PM
Shimbo Darktree 11 Apr 15 - 08:08 PM
Teribus 12 Apr 15 - 06:02 AM
Bonzo3legs 12 Apr 15 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,henryp 12 Apr 15 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Dave Illingworth 13 Apr 15 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Apr 15 - 08:35 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Apr 15 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 20 Apr 15 - 05:39 AM
Jim Dixon 21 Apr 15 - 10:06 PM
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Subject: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,Abby the Spoon Lady
Date: 07 Apr 15 - 10:13 PM

I am looking for folk songs about taxes. Folk songs from the US primarily, but any and all really! :) please and thank you kindly
Abby the Spoon Lady


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Airymouse
Date: 07 Apr 15 - 10:26 PM

Revolutionary Tea is an obvious example, though it makes the mistake of thinking that the British were imposing a higher tax, when in fact they were cutting taxes in order to rescue The East India Company. The song is filled with interesting constructions: " I shan't do this thing that you ax" and "she packed up a budget of tea."


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Bugsy
Date: 07 Apr 15 - 10:44 PM

Here are the complete lyrics to a Classic song written by Australian singer songwriter Bernard Carney about the GST (Goods and Services Tax)

I'll sing you a song of the GST
and the wonderful things it can do.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: Lyr Add: AFTER TAXES (from Johnny Cash)
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 12:01 AM

Don't know if you'd call it a 'folk song'......but there's a song by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber called "After Taxes"

I feel so good come payday
I think of all the things I'm gonna
Buy when I pick up my pay
Don't you know, but then they hand me
That little brown envelope
I peep inside, Lord I lose all hope
'Cause from those total wages earned
Down to that net amount that's due
I feel the painful sense of loss between the two

There goes that bracelet for her arm
There goes that new fence for my farm
There goes that brand new Pontiac
There goes the shirt right off my back

You can dream about a honeymoon for two
You can dream but that's about all you can do
'Cause by the time old Uncle Sam gets through with you
You can buy her a pair of hose
A little powder for her nose
And take her down to Sloppy Joe's
for beer And stew
them are the facts
after tax
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
To see them city limits pass
And if you get back home fourth class
I'd say you won

There goes that bracelet for her arm
There goes that new fence for my farm
Send back that short wave radio
cancel that trip to Mexico
Forget that brand new Pontiac
There goes the shirt right off my back


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 02:40 AM

"The Tythe Pig" -
"Good morning said the Parson; good morning, sir, to you;
I'm come to take a sucking pig, a pig that is my due."


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 03:23 AM

I just posted links to half-a-dozen tax songs, but my post didn't show up --- is there some limit on how many links I can put in a message? Anyway, I found the links by typing

tax site:muscat.org

into Google, and you can, too.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 03:58 AM

A guest can only post one link - presumably an anti-spam measure. Two links and the post vanishes into the aether.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 05:12 AM

I've had posts vanish into the aether even posting as a non-guest. The aether is well-fed.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 05:26 AM

I have a lot of songs about the Annuity Tax in 19th century Edinburgh, links and historical discussion here:

http://www.campin.me.uk/Embro/Webrelease/Embro/15kirk/15kirk.htm

There were a few (not quite as good) songs about Thatcher's Poll Tax. Maybe the best to come out of that was an instrumental tune, Sandy Mathers' reel "Repeal the Poll Tax".

How about "Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram"? See here:

http://jamesmys.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/salt-march-march-towards-independence.html


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 08:33 AM

Eight here with videos.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 08:36 AM

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/song-midis/We_Never_Had_Such_Taxes.htm


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 09:02 AM

Get You A Copper Kettle has the lines, "We aint paid no whiskey tax, Since 1792."


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 09:40 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO80MA7uAEk

Ralph Willis: Income Tax Blues


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 09:42 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai3YggXpJos

1040 Blues by Robert Cray


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 09:45 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kNwvIEQsg0

Chris de Burgh: Don't Pay the Ferryman


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 09:49 AM

Tune only, but . . .

"The de'ils awa wi the exciseman"


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 10:06 AM

"Sales Tax on the Women" by the Dixon Brothers (Dorsey and Howard). Later covered, more audibly, by the New Lost City Ramblers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK-aOkLNXS0


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUSTED (Harlan Howard)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 10:32 AM

BUSTED
Johnny Cash (with The Carter Family)
1963 album Blood, Sweat and Tears.
writer Harlan Howard 1962

III

D                                                          A
Well, my bills are all due and the baby needs shoes but I'm busted
                                           D
Cotton is down to a quarter a pound and I'm busted

I got a cow that's gone dry a hen that won't lay
G
A big stack of bills that get bigger each day
    A
The county's gonna haul my belongings away
          D
Cause I'm busted

I called up my brother to ask for a loan cause I was busted
Now I hate to beg like a dog for a bone but I was busted
My brother said, "There ain't a thing I can do
My wife and the kids are all down with the flu
And I was just thinkin's 'bout callin' on you
Cause I'm busted



Now I'm no thief but a man can go wrong when he's busted
The food that we canned last summer is gone and we're busted
The fields are all bare and the cotton won't grow
Me and my family's gotta pack up and go
I'll make a livin', just where I don't know
Cause I'm busted

(muttering and fade "flat broke, jus plain old busted, ain't got a dime to my name, busted")

Sincerely,
Gargoyle



Johnny Cash, with the Carter Family, reached #13 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in 1963.[1]
Ray Charles reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963.[2] This was from his album Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul. A live version with Willie Nelson was included in Charles' 2005 duets album Genius & Friends.
Nazareth covered it on Expect No Mercy in 1977.
John Conlee reached #6 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart in 1982.[3]
Patty Loveless released a version in 2009 from her studio album Mountain Soul II.
Chris LeDoux covered it on Used to Want to be a Cowboy in 1991.
Green On Red covered it on The BBC Sessions released in 2007.
Wanda Jackson covered it on her album The Party Ain't Over (2011).
The Waldos covered it on their album Rent Party in 1994.
Andre Williams covered it on his album Red Dirt in 1999.
Tim O'Brien covered it on his album "Cornbread Nation" in 2005


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: cnd
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 11:21 AM

I mean, she calls them folk songs, but whether they are or not is up to you. Wini Beatty released some anti-government folk songs on the obscure California label Key Records in the 60s. Here's a link to a playlist of them. Some of them have to do with taxes, but most of them are about big government.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4PzC8jx8QiY0Sj0mr1czKs81JPNwti7G


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Ernest
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 12:01 PM

"The deil`s awa`wi`the exciseman" that Guest mentioned has lyrics written by Robert Burns:

Lyrics

and a recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In-i9yBQBiQ

Another one would be "Taxes on the farmer feeds us all":

http://www.songlyrics.com/ry-cooder/taxes-on-the-farmer-feeds-us-all-lyrics/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UjPbiYOybs


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 10:02 PM

Dear, Kind, Benevolent FOLK......

Please post your insight, (lyrics with link or attribution) INTO the immediate thread.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

As we ALL know.....the web is an ever changing river.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: cnd
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 12:25 AM

The song "Brown's Ferry Blues" (in particular the Doc Watson version) mentions revenue men taking his gin. In the CCR song "It Came Out of the Sky," they say the government taxes so much they're going to start a "mars tax," but whether CCR is folk or not is up to you (but it is one of their more country songs).

To get a little off topic, any songs mentioning moonshine, revenue agents, g-men, t-men, etc could have tenuous connections to taxes, since moonshine was primarily made because of liquor taxes. You could also bring up songs involving hopping trains, like, say, Roger Miller's King of the Road. Just for the sake of examples sake, I'm not going to be too strict on what I define as "Folk." So you could include things like "The Ballad of Thunder Road" by Robert Mitchum, "White Lightning" by George Jones, "Run, Johnny, Run" by Jimmy Driftwood, "Good Ol' Mountain Dew" by Stringbean, NRPS's "Whiskey," PPL's "Kentucky Moonshine," "Do Wacka Do" by Roger Miller, and hundreds of others.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 03:19 AM

Although its not really folk, there is "Don't pay the poll tax" by The Exploited, and "Poll Tax song" by Michelle Shocked. There is also a Poll Tax song by John Andrew Hird, which is more folk in style. And Sandy Mathers' exellence "Repeal the Poll Tax" instrumental as has already been pointed out.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 06:11 AM

Probably a few Boston Tea Party songs out there....Can't think of any off hand, but I'm sure some one can.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 10:21 AM

Bedroom Tax Song: You Cannae Have A Spare Room in a Pokey Cooncil Flat

A song about the Bedroom Tax, written for the demos all over the UK on Saturday 30th March, 2013, the Glasgow one in particular. Set to the tune of 1960's folk song "The Jeely Piece Song", by Scottish singer-songwriter Adam McNaughtan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bik9299kA0c


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 10:43 AM

Bellowhead sing A-Begging I Will Go

I've got no tax to pay and I heed no master's bell
Who would be a king when a beggar does so well?

And a-beggin' I will go
And a-beggin' I will go

The Song of the Lower Classes - sung by Martin Carthy

The writer, Ernest Jones, stood unsuccessfully as a Chartist MP in 1847, was arrested in 1848 and was sentenced to two years of solitary confinement. From 1851 on, he started publishing a weekly magazine, Notes to the People, in which this song was published in March 1852.

Down down we go, we are so low
To the hell of the deep sunk mine
But we gather the proudest gems that glow
When the crown of the despot shines

Whenever he lacks, upon our backs
Fresh loads he deigns to lay
We're far too low to vote the tax
But not too low to pay


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 10:52 AM

Didn't Joni Mitchell do one


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,M
Date: 10 Apr 15 - 06:25 AM

Teribus: Do you mean the one about taxing large micturations?


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Leadbelly
Date: 10 Apr 15 - 07:17 AM

Would like to recommend "Sales tax boogie" performed by Poor Howard Stith. Published on his cd "Lonesome road blues".


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 Apr 15 - 01:01 PM

Of Honest Malt Liquor

A catch, dating from 1733:

"Of honest malt liquor let English boys sing,
A pox take French claret, we'll drink no such thing.
But London brewed staple, stout, Burton and Lincoln,
They'll find us good matter to talk or to think on.
To King, Lords and Commons toast a health ere we rise,
Tho' we lower our pockets, yet we raise his Excise"

From A Taste of Ale CD by Magpie Lane
To accompany the book compiled by Roy Palmer


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RICH LADY OVER THE SEA
From: GUEST,threelegsoman
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 03:13 AM

I was asked to sing The Rich Lady Over The Sea a short while ago and my version can be found at:

The Rich Lady Over The Sea (Including lyrics and chords)

The Rich Lady Over The Sea

There was a rich lady lived over the sea,
And she was an island queen,
Her daughter lived off in the new country,
With an ocean of water between.
The old lady's pockets were filled with gold,
Yet never contented was she,
So she ordered her daughter to pay her a tax,
Of thruppence a pound on the tea.
Of thruppence a pound on the tea.

Oh mother, dear mother, the daughter replied,
I'll not do the thing that you ask,
I'm willing to pay fair price on the tea,
But never the thruppenny tax.
You shall, cried the mother, and reddened with rage,
For you're my own daughter, you see,
And it's only proper that daughter should pay
Her mother a tax on the tea.
Her mother a tax on the tea.

The tea was conveyed to her daughter's own door,
All down by the oceanside,
But the bouncing girl poured out ever pound
On the dark and the boiling tide.
And then she called out to the island queen,
Oh mother, dear mother, called she,
Your tea you may have when 'tis steeped enough,
But never a tax from me!
But never a tax from me!
But never a tax from me!


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 05:59 AM

The Hearth Tax of 1662, sometimes referred to as chimney money, was abolished in 1689, largely on the initiative of William III.

England's Joy, For the Taking off of 'The Chimney-Money'

Now happy times are coming on, let's pray that they may last;
For now the Chimney Tax is gone, our chiefest care is past:
We'll in our Country cottage sing, and push the Jugg about;
We'll drink our health unto our King, till all our Liquor's out.

William IV came to the throne in 1830 and the Beerhouse Act of the same year was known as Billy's Beer Bill.

A Drop of Good Beer

Come one and all, both great and small,
With voices loud and clear,
And let us sing 'Bless Billy the King
Who bated the tax upon beer'.

For more, see The Sound of History by Roy Palmer


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Subject: Lyr Add: A DIALOGUE BETWIXT AN EXCISEMAN AND DEATH
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 02:32 PM

A Dialogue betwixt an Excise-Man and Death (1640s?)

Upon a time when Titan's steeds were driven
To drench themselves beneath the western heaven;
And sable Morpheus had his curtains spread,
And silent night had laid the world to bed;
'Mongst other night-birds which did seek for prey,
A blunt exciseman, which abhorred the day,
Was rambling forth to seek himself a booty
'Mongst merchant's goods which had not paid the duty;
But walking all alone, Death chanced to meet him,
And in this manner did begin to greet him.

DEATH.

Stand, who comes here? what means this knave to peep
And skulk abroad, when honest men should sleep?
Speak, what's thy name? and quickly tell me this,
Whither thou goest, and what thy business is?

EXCISEMAN.

Whate'er my business is, thou foul-mouthed scold,
I'd have you know I scorn to be controlled
By any man that lives; much less by thou,
Who blurtest out thou know'st not what, nor how;
I go about my lawful business; and
I'll make you smart for bidding of me stand.

DEATH.

Imperious coxcomb! is your stomach vexed?
Pray slack your rage, and hearken what comes next:
I have a writ to take you up; therefore,
To chafe your blood, I bid you stand, once more.

EXCISEMAN.

A writ to take ME up! excuse me, sir,
You do mistake, I am an officer
In public service, for my private wealth;
My business is, if any seek by stealth
To undermine the state, I do discover
Their falsehood; therefore hold your hand,--give over.

DEATH.

Nay, fair and soft! 'tis not so quickly done
As you conceive it is: I am not gone
A jot the sooner for your hasty chat,
Nor bragging language; for I tell you flat
'Tis more than so, though fortune seem to thwart us,
Such easy terms I don't intend shall part us.
With this impartial arm I'll make you feel
My fingers first, and with this shaft of steel
I'll peck thy bones! AS THOU ALIVE WERT HATED,
SO DEAD, TO DOGS THOU SHALT BE SEGREGATED.

EXCISEMAN.

I'd laugh at that; I would thou didst but dare
To lay thy fingers on me; I'd not spare
To hack thy carcass till my sword was broken,
I'd make thee eat the words which thou hast spoken;
All men should warning take by thy transgression,
How they molested men of my profession.
My service to the State is so well known,
That should I but complain, they'd quickly own
My public grievances; and give me right
To cut your ears, before tomorrow night.

DEATH.

Well said, indeed! but bootless all, for I
Am well acquainted with thy villany;
I know thy office, and thy trade is such,
Thy service little, and thy gains are much:
Thy brags are many; but 'tis vain to swagger,
And think to fight me with thy gilded dagger:
AS I ABHOR THY PERSON, PLACE, AND THREAT,
So now I'll bring thee to the judgment-seat.

EXCISEMAN.

The judgment-seat! I must confess that word
Doth cut my heart, like any sharpened sword:
What! come t' account! methinks the dreadful sound
Of every word doth make a mortal wound,
Which sticks not only in my outward skin,
But penetrates my very soul within.
'Twas least of all my thoughts that ever Death
Would once attempt to stop excisemen's breath.
But since 'tis so, that now I do perceive
You are in earnest, then I must relieve
Myself another way: come, we'll be friends;
If I have wronged thee, I'll make th' amends.
Let's join together; I'll pass my word this night
Shall yield us grub, before the morning light.
Or otherwise (to mitigate my sorrow),
Stay here, I'll bring you gold enough to-morrow.

DEATH.

To-morrow's gold I will not have; and thou
Shalt have no gold upon to-morrow: now
My final writ shall to th' execution have thee,
All earthly treasure cannot help or save thee.

EXCISEMAN.

Then woe is me! ah! how was I befooled!
I thought that gold (which answereth all things) could
Have stood my friend at any time to bail me!
But grief grows great, and now my trust doth fail me.
Oh! that my conscience were but clear within,
Which now is racked with my former sin;
With horror I behold my secret stealing,
My bribes, oppression, and my graceless dealing;
My office-sins, which I had clean forgotten,
Will gnaw my soul when all my bones are rotten:
I must confess it, very grief doth force me,
Dead or alive, both God and man doth curse me.
LET ALL EXCISEMEN hereby warning take,
To shun their practice for their conscience sake.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 02:51 PM

And from Sabine Baring-Gould's book Devonshire Characters and Strange Events: "The Scotch Yoke, and English Resentment" - illustrated by an ISIL-style response to the tax on cider:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/48507/48507-h/48507-h.htm#fig02


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 08:08 PM

The following link will give you the words to one I perform in Oz from time to time.
http://www.lyrics.com/theyre-taking-it-away-lyrics-ian-robb.html
- Shimbo


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 06:02 AM

GUEST,M if by "large micturations" you mean "Big Yellow" ones then yes.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 06:06 AM

We ain't gonna pay no Inheritance Tax no more!!!


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 06:46 AM

Income tax was introduced into Great Britain by Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger in his budget of December 1798.

Broadside Ballads Online from the Bodleian Collection

Ballad Work - Roud Number: V12856
Titles: That income tax! A popular parody on "Those evening bells"

That income tax - that income tax!
How every clause my brain it racks
How dear was that time to me,
Ere first I heard of schedule B.

Those untaxed joys are passed away
And many a heart that then was gay,
Is sleeping 'neath the turf in packs,
And cares not for the Income Tax.

And so 'twill be when I am gone,
That candid Peel will still tax on,
And other bards shall sadly ax,
Why not repeal that Income tax.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 13 Apr 15 - 06:06 AM

Some fine songs mentioned in this link. "Sales Tax On The Women " has long been a favourite of mine.
I have actually sung George Harrison's 1966 song "Taxman" in a simple folky/acoustic style - and it works. Simple direct lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Apr 15 - 08:35 PM

They come on April 15th dear
To tack away our gold.
Tax men are never moved by tears ...
Nor tales that may be told.


Tune: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

"Mad Magazine" parody circa 1963-64

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Anyone betting on a "triple dip?"


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EXCISEMAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 11:42 PM

From The Pocket Encyclopedia of Scottish, English, and Irish Songs, Vol. 2 (Glasgow: J. Smith & Son, et al., 1816), page 33:


THE EXCISEMAN.

To a village that skirted the sea,
An Exciseman one midsummer came,
But prudence, between you and me,
Forbids me to mention his name.
Soon Michael he chanc'd to espy.
A cask on his napper he bore,
With six gallons of brandy, or nigh;
And where is the head can bear more?

Says the Exciseman: "Let's see your permit."
Say's Mike: "'Tain't convenient to show it."
T'other cried: "Sir, I'm not to be bit,
For you've smuggl'd that stuff, and you know it.
Your hogs to a fine market you've brought,
For seeing you've paid no excise,
As customs have settl'd you ought,
I seizes your tub as my prize."

"Now don't be so hard," said poor Mike.
Th' Exciseman was deaf to complaint.
"Why then, take it," said Mike, "if you like,
For I've borne it till ready to faint."
Four miles in hot sunshine they trudg'd,
Till on them they'd scarce a dry rag.
Th' Exciseman his labour ne'er grudg'd,
But cheerfully carried the cag.

To the custom-house in the next town,
'Twas yet some three furlongs or more,
When says Michael: "Pray set your load down,
For this here, sir, is my cottage door."
T'other answer'd: "I thank you, friend, no;
My burden, just yet, I shan't quit."
Then, says Michael: "Before you do go,
I'll get you to read my permit."

"Your permit! Why not show it before?"
"Because it came into my nob,
By your watching for me on the shore,
That your worship was wanting a job.
Now, I'd need of a porter, d'ye see,
For that load made my bones fit to crack;
And so, sir, I thank you for me,
And wish you a pleasant walk back."


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about taxes?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 20 Apr 15 - 05:39 AM

What about Scottish singer Will Fyffe's 1920s song about rising taxes causing the price of whisky to soar to-

'TWELVE AND A TANNER A BOTTLE'

(ie 12 shillings and sixpence- UK currency up to 1971)

(about US 90 cents at current rates)

It includes the lines-

'There's taxes on this, there's taxes on that
We're staying thin, politicians get fat'

... which surely rings a bell even in 2015?'


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TAX ON GIN (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Apr 15 - 10:06 PM

From a broadside at the Bodleian Library:


THE TAX ON GIN

1. There's something new starts every day.
Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!
They tax the mutton, bread and beef,
The bacon and the beer.
They tax the poor man's sugar,
His butter, cheese and tea.
They tax the poor, and let the rich
All go along Scot-free.

CHORUS: They tax, tax, tax, tax.
They never will give in.
To starve the poor old women out,
They've taxed the rum and gin.

2. A penny on each quartern!
Oh, what a cursed shame!
That wicked Billy Gladstone
Is carrying on a game.
Why don't he lay a tax upon
His lady's crinoline?
Why don't he tax the nobleman
And double tax the wine?

3. "Oh, crikey!" said old Mary James.
"It is a cursed sin
To keep a poor old woman down
And tax her drop of gin.
A penny every quartern!
I'm sure it can't be right.
They'd better tax old women's teeth,
And then they couldn't bite.

4. "They have rose it at the Feathers,
And at the Hare and Hounds.
They have rose it at the Magpie,
The Thistle, and the Crown.
They have rose it at the Lion,
At the Bull and the Red Cow.
They have rose it at the Harrow,
And likewise at the Plough.

5. "They have rose it at the Nelson,
The Bottle and the Cork.
They have rose it at the Wellington
And at the Duke of York.
They have rose it at the Albert,
The Marlborough and Lord Howe.
They've rose it at the Prince of Wales,
And at the Barley-Mow.

6. "Oh, taxing Billy Gladstone,
We wish that you had got
The butt end of a rifle
Sticking in your throat.
Why don't you tax our petticoats
And make us look forlorn?
Why don't you lay a tax upon
Every little kid that's born?

7. "Why don't you tax our shirts,
Our crinolines and caps?
Why don't you tax the baked sheep's heads,
The pickle eels and sprats?
Why don't you tax the ringlets
Round the ladies' pretty heads,
And tax the china jerry
Standing underneath the bed?

8. "Why don't you tax the frying pan?
Why don't you tax the spoon?
Why don't you tax the washing tub,
The teapot and the broom?
Why don't you tax the poker?
Why don't you tax the knife,
And double tax the rogue who lifts
A finger to his wife?

9. "Oh, Billy, Billy Gladstone,
May you in the river jump,
And have nothing stronger
Than the running at the pump.
May you fall down like a donkey,
And a ditch be tumbled in.
What right had you at all to tax
The poor old woman's gin?

10. "May you always have the toothache,
All we poor old women say.
May your wife rise up one morn
And with her footman run away.
May you never sleep for a fortnight,
And your head be always queer,
And be shot on Wimbledon Common
By a rifle volunteer."


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