April is the Cruelest Month: Songs for Tax Day

When T.S. Eliot wrote The Waste Land, I’m not sure he had tax season in mind. But he hit the nail on the head with the opening lines. So in honor/horror of the upcoming tax deadline, I thought it would be interesting to come up with a playlist dedicated to April 15th, the deadline for filing taxes here in the states. So here’s my top ten.

1. Let’s start with the man in black, Johnny Cash. After Taxes is Cash’s tribute song to all the taxes we have to pay. Is anyone better than Cash?

2. Of course, you can’t think taxes without thinking Willie Nelson. I had trouble narrowing it down to one song, so I’m cheating (not on my taxes, IRS) and including two Willie Nelson songs I deem appropriate for tax day. First song that comes to mind is The Party’s Over. Then what else after paying a hefty tax but Whiskey River. Enjoy this video from Austin City Limits where he plays for the first time with the great Asleep at the Wheel.

3. Now let’s go waaay back. The Mississippi Sheiks from 1934 Sales Tax. Wouldn’t it be great if sales tax were only 3 cents per dollar these days?

4. Matt Cline is a humorous political singer. Here’s his take on the IRS. There’s Taxes Everywhere is a parody of the old song, I’ve Been Everywhere written in 1959 by Australian Geoff Mack and recorded (most famously in the US) by Hank Snow and Johnny Cash.

5. Johnny Paycheck, one of the quintessential outlaw singers, with Me and the IRS.

6. Gotta Serve Somebody from Dylan’s Slow Train Coming. Here is a great cover by the wonderful Etta James.

7. Steve Miller Band’s Take the Money and Run. How many times did I listen to the 8-track of this?

8. 1040 Blues by Robert Cray is a fun little blues song.

9. School House Rock’s Tax Man Max. Those of a certain age will remember the School House Rock videos. I think these little jingles were planted in my brain when I was a kid. I can remember all the words to most of them.

10. Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Taxman found on Revolver by The Beatles.

So if you’re like me and need a little song therapy to get through tax day, enjoy these offerings. Plus, if you have any other songs that make you laugh while crying, please comment and share. We can all use a good laugh right about now.

Please, drop a comment below and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you!