Death & Taxes: Top Ten Songs About Money & The Dreaded Tax Man
The month of April, taxes, and procrastination are all words that should be put in the dictionary next to each other–even if they aren’t alphabetically similar.
They all pretty much go hand-in-hand.
No one ever wants to pay their taxes and shell over their hard-earned dollars and cents to people they (hopefully) will never meet.
The scary faces behind the Internal Revenue System.
Someone, somewhere once said that the two things that are inevitable in life are “death and taxes.”
What is also inevitable is that if something is inevitable, a musician will write a song about it, which brings us to our Top Ten Songs About Money And Taxes.
10. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Abba[/lastfm]-“Money Money Money”
Sometimes a glamorous girl has to work harder than she plays to meet the (rich) man of her dreams, even if bills, booze, and the tax man takes all her money away. In the end, she is just left with her dreams of an easier life or as Abba says, “I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay /Ain’t it sad /And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me /That’s too bad.“
9.[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Johnny Paycheck[/lastfm]-“Me And The IRS”
This little cowboy tune has everything necessary for a good tax song: pathos, annoyance, and a country-dirge rhythm. The appropriately monikered Johnny Paycheck is brutally honest with lyrics like “Well the bite keeps gettin’ bigger /And the paycheck keeps gettin’ small/You know the IRS, they ain’t gonna rest /Til they think they’ve got it all.”
8. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Cheap Trick[/lastfm]-“Taxman, Mr. Thief”
Early punk rock was all about musicians writing brash, acerbic political songs and Cheap Trick’s “Taxman, Mr. Thief” wasn’t afraid of telling the truth about how the majority of the population feels when they barely make money and then they get a sizable portion of their paycheck taken away from them:
“You work hard, you make money/There ain’t no on in the world who can stop you/You work hard, you went hungry/Now the taxman is out to get you.”
7.[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Reliant K[/lastfm]-“Life After Death And Taxes”
Christian rock band, Reliant K, has a more positive outlook on the whole “death and taxes” situation, reminding us to “Never forget/There’s life after death/And taxes/And forgiveness comes/Then all of the rest is what passes away.”
6.[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Billy Joel[/lastfm]-“Movin’ Out”
On the other hand, in “Movin’ Out,” Billy Joel says that if life is going to only be about getting the big house, the big dreams, and paying the big bucks, than he is not interested in living up to those financial expectations:
“You should never argue with a crazy mi mi mi mi mi mind/You ought-a know by now/You can pay Uncle Sam with the overtime/Is that all you get for your money/And if that’s what you have in mind/Then that’s what you’re all about/Good luck movin up cause I’m movin out.”
5. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Guns ‘N Roses[/lastfm]-“IRS”
This is more of a love song than a tax song, but in a way, being in love (and married) can either be a great benefit to your taxes or a horrible drama when you get divorced. And in that case, you might need to “call the President/Gonna call a Private Eye/Gonna get the IRS/Gonna need the FBI.”
4. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bruce Springsteen[/lastfm]-“Pay Me My Money Down”
It’s easy to just think of America within the last two centuries being the only country dealing with tax problems, but people have been taxed by the big bad government since the dawn of property ownership.
Or in the case of Bruce Springsteen’s folk-rock song, when the Captain wants to take a levy for your work, saying “Pay me my money down/Pay me or go to jail/Pay me my money down.”
3. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]B.o.B[/lastfm]-“Nothin’ On You”
There has been a trend with hip-hop musicians singing about their attraction to “independent women.” In B.o.B’s case, that woman is the “the whole package plus you pay your taxes/And you keep it real while them other stay plastic.”
We understand the concept of arbitrary rhyme, but it’s kind of illegal not to pay your taxes. It’s not like a marker of greatness or anything.
2.[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] The Kinks[/lastfm]-“Sunny Afternoon”
This is our favorite song about taxes, because the Kinks do an amazing job creating a tune that speaks from the rich man’s perspective of getting his money taken by the government.
Except he’s enjoying an atypical sunny day in England: “The tax man’s taken all my dough/And left me in my stately home/blazing on a sunny afternoon/And I can’t sail my yacht/He’s taken everything I’ve got/All I’ve got’s this sunny afternoon.”
1. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Beatles[/lastfm]-“Taxman”
Probably the most famous song about “taxes,” the Beatles wrote a tongue-in-cheek about how if you own anything, anything at all, the government also owns a part of it.
“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.”
What are your favorite songs about taxes?
Did you get yours done yet?
Let us know in the comments!