"Taxman" by George Harrison

Piano AR guidance for “Taxman”

The song, “Taxman,” was written by Beatles megastar George Harrison in 1966 and released as the first track on the album, “Revolver.” Three of Harrison’s songs would ultimately be on the record.

It was only after some success in his career that Harrison came to realize the amount of taxes he’d be paying.

“You are so happy that you’ve finally started earning money – and then you find out about tax,” Harrison would later recall. “In those days we paid nineteen shillings and sixpence out of every pound,” providing some insight into the lyric, “There’s one for you, nineteen for me.”

But his critique doesn’t seem to have been partisan, as he (with some help from John Lennon) crafted lyrics for backup vocals that included names of the leaders of multiple political parties. Harold Wilson was the Labour Party’s Prime Minister. Edward Heath was the leader of the rival Conservative Party.

In his 1980 autobiography, I Me Mine, Harrison included a copy of the million pound check he’d written for his taxes in 1973. His estate posted it in a tweet in 2017.