“The Taxes”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (OLochlainn)
Keywords: humorous political
Found in: Ireland


"There never was such taxes in Ireland before." There are seven verses of things to be taxed. "They'll double tax the hobble skirts and table up some laws, But the devil says he'll tax them if he gets them in his claws"


The British government was notorious for the number of fees it charged (recall that this was the cause of the American revolution). My guess, though, is that this comes from the period of the Napoleonic Wars. For one thing, Ireland lost its independent parliament after the 1798 rising. For another, the British government, which hated deficits, had to raise revenue dramatically to keep up its war spending. The result was a long list of new taxes. - RBW

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn 4, "The Taxes" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #3033
  3. BI, OLoc004