Taxman, The Beatles taxes against Harold Wilson

Apropiadísima for the times, Taxman is a well known song from The Beatles , written and recorded in 1966 and released as the first single from the album Revolver -in other side contained no less than Eleanor Rigby ,item-total bill unlike classical Taxman which was decidedly more risky in terms of music and lyrics.

It can be considered the first “political” song by The Beatles , predating Revolution two years, and with a strong tone “liberal” (less taxes, less pressure state).

Taxes and songs

Fully written by George Harrison , the subject is hard refers to abusive type of income tax paying people with large incomes -The Beatles, among them at that time in your country. A huge Business Tax Services rate sometimes reached reach 95% of their profits.

Because of those crazy tax , many top musicians were exiled and fiscally domiciliaron other countries, which, despite public accusations of unpatriotic finally not tarnished his reputation, and its international projection.

So, John Lennon installed its offices in the United States, Harrison in Switzerland, the Stones in France and Barbados, like David Bowie …

In fact, in an article later press referred to the issue becomes, explaining that “one of the greatest products of British exports in those years was … the rich people.” To discontent of the British Treasury, there was a huge and striking exodus rich and famous to other jurisdictions with better tax conditions.

In the 60s it was common for European countries had many scales of rates applicable to income tax and, above all, very high tax rates. UK was no exception, especially taking into account that were boom years economic -however also significant problems with the external balance of payments of the country and development of cultural industry-especially musically, which resulted in his Majesty’s subjects had such a good list of millionaires, many of them very young, as were the stars of rock and pop.

Labour ruled Harold Wilson , who, especially in his first term as prime minister -disputó 5 general election and received the victory in 4 of them: 1964 , 1966 , and February and October 1974 put special emphasis on promoting social justice including better educational opportunities, allying with an obvious scientific progress.

The ” Mr. Wilson “and” Mr. Heath “ironic chorus Lennon and Paul McCartney were at the end of the song is related to Harold Wilson and Edward Heath , Labour prime minister and conservative opposition leader, respectively, at the time, giving them the distinction of being the first living person to be mentioned in an issue of The Beatles .

Although members of the most famous band of all time Heath had never met in person, yes they had met with Wilson -from northern England, like them several times, and each of them had received the MBE award (Members the British Empire ) for being in the honorary approved list after Wilson led the Labour Party to victory in 1964 itself.

The Beatles, four young entrepreneurs outside London who came mostly from the lower middle class, was the kind of people that Wilson wanted to encourage his vision of a new Britain without class distinction . For this and for some contradictorily, during his tenure as prime minister, Harold Wilson raised the top rate of income tax to 95% ..

 

Harrison then declare the matter:

During the time I wrote Taxman ‘s when I first realized that although we had started to make money, most of it is was going to pay taxes. It was, and still is, typical. Why should he be? Are we being punished for something we have done wrong. “

 

Instead, we must recognize that at least Harrison and The Beatles received quality public services in return for their taxes , which no longer happens today in countries hardest hit by the economic crisis. Advantages and disadvantages of living in the 60 (out of Spain, of course).

 

Times Revolver

Taxman was written and recorded between 20 and 22 April 1966 with Harrison on rhythm guitar and vocals, McCartney on bass, solo and chorus guitar, John Lennon, choirs and cowbell, and Ringo Starr on drums and tambourine. George Martin was, of course, the producer of the song and Geoff Emerick sound engineer.

In Living in a Material World , the great biopic directed byMartin Scorsese in which, by the way, the filmmaker did not stop in the song Taxman , John Lennon confessed about the concept of money by the group in those early times ” Celebrity Before us, the money was already among our goals, but still did not say, ‘Let’s make money’. But suddenly had money and suddenly was not so good. “

Follow Goerge explaining: “Having money we discovered that the money was not the answer . Suddenly we had lots of material things that people life trying to get passed. We managed to get them at a really early age;and it was good, really, because we learned that it was not that. We still lacked something. That something is what religion is about giving people “.

It is curious-and prove to the lake all his life how George managed to combine their spiritual concerns with the concept of money. Several biographies written about him or The Beatles states that Harrison McCartney -and also had some fame caught; watching every shilling, go. Also this was precisely the time when George discovered Ravi Sankar and sitar and began his search for answers in the eastern philosophies, little given to the material. So it is striking that was the Harrison himself who would decide to write a song like Taxman .

In The Beatles Anthology George talks about the song (at 4:20): “It was the moment when I discovered that most of the money was for the tax collector and you felt very happy that you were almost penniless. We paid 95 pence halfpenny per pound of gain. The point is that you had to pay super-rates, fees and more fees … considered ridiculous that huge penalty for each pound of gain. “

 

The letter and the imprint of Taxman

The song began saying “There’s one for you 19 for me” , but Harrison seemed little and said ” Let me tell you how it will be . ” Harrison asked Paul McCartney to work with guitars and Paul replied yes (Paul eventually would play the guitar solo). In an interview in 1984 for the magazine Playboy , McCartney said, “George wrote it and I put music on guitar. He wrote it when he was angry when he realized what the taxman did. Never before had he known then what he could do with your money. “

However, John Lennon also part of the authorship of the letter would be attributed , as he confessed to own Playboy in 1980: “I remember the day when he called for help for Taxman , one of his best songs. I gave some lines to help with the song because that’s what he asked. It was with Paul because Paul would not have helped in this period. I do not want to. I thought, ‘Oh, no, do not tell me that now I have to do the work of George. It’s enough to make my things and Paul. ‘ But because she loved him and did not want to hurt him when he called me that evening and said, “would you help me with this song?” I bit my tongue and I said yes. “Result: Lennon never forgave entirely to Harrison that” affront ” .

Musically, Taxman is a song composed on a chord D7 complemented by C7 and Sol 7 / 9th . It starts with what has been called the acid rock .

Draws attention to the economy as melodic chords for a band like The Beatles, McCartney’s bass directly taken from what artists and groups of Tamla Motown did at that time, and the first guitar solo “experimental” throughout the career of The Beatles.

Theme influenced many artists and groups that generation, but has never lost its musical force and even today the Britpop shows that that song as jumping has permeated the whole wave of groups that periodically revitalize the English pop, contributing to the imprint of The Beatles will never erase.

 

 

Taxman (The Beatles). La letra

Let me tell you how it will be

Theres one for you, nineteen for me

Cause im the taxman

Yeah, im the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small

Be thankful I dont take it all

Cause im the taxman

Yeah im the taxman

If you drive a car, ill tax the street

If you try to sit, ill tax your seat

If you get too cold ill tax the heat

If you take a walk, ill tax your feet

Taxman

Cause im the taxman

Yeah im the taxman

Dont ask me what i want it for

Aah Mister Wilson

If you dont want to pay some more

Aah Mister Heath

Cause im the taxman

Yeah, im the taxman

Now my advice for those who die

Taxman

Declare the pennies on your eyes

Taxman

Cause im the taxman

Yeah, im the taxman

And youre working for no one but me

 

TRANSLATION:

Let me tell you how:

One for you, nineteen for me

Cause I’m the taxman,

Yes, I’m the taxman

If five percent seems little

Thank me not to take me around.

Cause I’m the taxman,

Yes, I’m the taxman

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street;

If you want to sit, I’ll tax the chair;

If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat;

If you go for a walk, I’ll tax your feet;

(Chorus: Taxman!)

Cause I’m the taxman,

Yes, I’m the taxman

Do not ask me what I want

(Coro: aah, Mister Wilson)

If you do not want to pay more

(Coro: aah, Mister Heath)

Cause I’m the taxman

Yes, I’m the taxman

Now some advice for those who die:

(Chorus: Taxman!)

Declare the pennies on your eyes

(Chorus: Taxman!)

Cause I’m the taxman

Yes, I’m the taxman

And just work for me

(Chorus: Taxman!)

 

 

Some video links

 

Version Harrison live Taxman (London, Albert Hall, June 4, 1992):


Harrison Live Version (Japan, 2011):

 

And here we can hear the brilliant remastering 2009 study:

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