A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 29, 2015
“Tax the people and tax with care…” (tax poem)

"Tax the people and tax with care...” is the first line of a famous tax poem, credited to Don Lupton of the Denver (CO) Post in 1921.

The form of the poem probably borrows from the famous horse-car poem published in the New-York (NY) Daily Tribune on September 27, 1875:

“Punch, boys, punch; punch with care.
A blue trip slip for an 8 cent fare,
A buff trip slip for a 6 cent fare
A pink trip slip for a 3 cent fare.
Punch in the presence of the passenjare.”


The Syracuse (NY) Herald changed this on June 3, 1917:

“Tax, brothers, tax with care;
Tax in the presence of the passenjare.”


In 1921, a tax poem was printed in many newspapers:

“Tax the people and tax with care
Tax to help the Tax Commission-aire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax his howl.”


“Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the fellow behind that tree” is another verse about taxes.


18 January 1917, Racine (WI) Journal-News, pg. 6, col. 2:
“Tax, tax, tax with care, lest we the people scare,” is now being heard more and more in Democratic circles. But the scare is gaining headway.

3 June 1917, Syracuse (NY) Herald, “Lights and Shadows,” pg. 6, col. 2:
Borrowing from Mark Twain, we would urge upon the conductors of the nation the necessity to

Tax, brothers, tax with care;
Tax in the presence of the passenjare.


With especial emphasis upon the “with care.”
R. E. K.
(From Mark Twain’s horse-car poetry of 1876, “Punch, Brothers, Punch!”—ed.)

Chronicling America
9 March 1921, Norwich (CT) Bulletn, “Day of Local Interest in Legislature,” pg. 6, col. 5:
House resolution by Mr. Rogers of Litchfield:

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives in General Assembly convened, that we:

Tax the people and tax with care
Tax to help the tax commission-aire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax its howl.

Tax the hen and tax her egg—
Let the bloomin’ rooster beg.
Tax the ox and tax the ass,
Tax the “Henry”, tax the gas. (Henry Ford, meaning an automobile.—ed.)
Tax his house and tax his bed,
Tax the bald spot on his head.

Tax all business, tax the shop,
Tax their bonds and all their stock.
Tax the payroll, tax the sale,
Tax all their hard-earned paper kale.
Tax the building of concrete
Tax ‘em for walking on the street.

Tax the living, tax the dead,
Tax the unborn before they’re fed.
Tax ‘em all and tax ‘em well,
Tax ‘em to the gates of ____ Tophet.

16 April 1921, Monmouth (IL) Daily Atlas, “Prose and Worse,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Bad Enoguh Now:—The following resolutions have been adopted by the General Assembly of a western state; let’s hope they don’t do the same here. It was resolved to—

“Tax the people and tax with care
Tax to help the Tax Commission-aire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax his howl.
Tax the hen and tax her egg—
Let the bloomin’ rooster beg.
Tax the ox and tax the ass,
Tax the “Henry”, tax the gas. (Henry Ford, meaning an automobile.—ed.)
Tax his house and tax his head,
Tax the bald spot on his head.
Tax all business, tax the shop,
Tax their bonds and all their stock.
Tax the payroll, tax the sale,
Tax all their hard-earned paper kale.
Tax the building of concrete
Tax for walking on the street.
Tax the living, tax the dead,
Tax the unborn before they’re fed.
Tax ‘em all and tax ‘em well,
Tax ‘em to the gates of ____.”

8 October 1922, Denver (CO) Post, “Hymn of School Board Is One of Tax, Tax, Tax and The Tax Some More,” sec. 1, pg. 9, col. 6:
Here is the song of the Denver school board for its bond issure campaign:

Tax the people and tax with care
Tax to help the tax commission-aire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax his howl.
Tax the hen and tax her egg—
Let the bloomin’ rooster beg.
Tax the ox and tax the ass,
Tax the “Henry”, tax the gas. (Henry Ford, meaning an automobile.—ed.)
Tax his house and tax his bed,
Tax the bald spot on his head.
Tax all business, tax the shop,
Tax their bonds and all their stock.
Tax the payroll, tax the sale,
Tax all their hard-earned paper kale.
Tax the building of concrete
Tax ‘em for walking on the street.
Tax the living, tax the dead,
Tax the unborn before they’re fed.
Tax ‘em all and tax ‘em well,
Tax ‘em to the gates of ____.

Chronicling America
20 December 1922, The Leader (Guthrie, OK), pg. 6, col. 1:
TAXATION
(With apologies to the Denver Post.)
Tax the people, tax with care
Tax to help the multi-millionaire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax his howl.
Tax the hen, and tax her egg,
And let the bloomin’ mudsill beg.
Tax the pig, and tax his squeal,
Tax his boots, run down at heel;
Tax his horses, tax his lands,
Tax the blisters on his hands.
Tax his plow and tax his clothes,
Tax the rag that wipes his nose;
Tax his house and tax his bed,
Tax the bald spot on his head.
Tax the ox, and tax the ass,
Tax the “Henry”, tax the gas; (Henry Ford, meaning an automobile.—ed.)
Tax the road that he must pass,
And make him travel o’er the grass,
Tax his cow, and tax the calf,
Tax him if he dares to laugh.
He is but a common man, so
Tax the cuss, just all you can.
Tax the lab’er, but be discreet,
Tax him for walking on the street.
Tax his bread, and tax his meat,
Tax the shoes clear off his feet.
Tax the payroll, tax the sale,
Tax all his hard-earned paper kale.
Tax his pipe, and tax his smoke,
Teach him gov’ment is no joke.
Tax their coffins, tax their shrouds,
Tax their souls beyond the clouds.
Tax all business, tax the shop,
Tax their incomes, tax their stocks;
Tax the living, tax the dead,
Tax the unborn before they’re fed.
Tax the water, tax the air,
Tax the sunlight, if you dare.
Tax them all, and tax them well,
Tax them to the gates of hell.
But close your eyes so you can’t see,
The coupon clipper go tax free.

Google News Archive
22 February 1923, Toledo (OH) Weekly Blade, “From East to West—Folks Ask for a Tax Rest,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Tax the people, tax with care
Tax to help the multi-millionaire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax his howl.
Tax the hen, and tax her egg,
And let the bloomin’ mudsill beg.
Tax the pig, and tax his squeal,
Tax his boots, run down at heel;
Tax his horses, tax his lands,
Tax the blisters on his hands.
Tax his plow and tax his clothes,
Tax the rag that wipes his nose.
Tax his house and tax his bed,
Tax the bald spot on his head.
Tax the ox, and tax the ass,
Tax the “Henry”, tax the gas; (Henry Ford, meaning an automobile.—ed.)
Tax the road that he must pass,
And make him travel o’er the grass,
Tax his cow, and tax the calf,
Tax him if he dares to laugh.
He is but a common man,
So tax the cuss, just all you can.
Tax the lab’rer, but be discreet,
Tax him for walking on the street.
Tax his bread, and tax his meat,
Tax the shoes clear off his feet.
Tax the payroll, tax the sale,
Tax all his hard-earned paper kale.
Tax his pipe, and tax his smoke,
Teach him government is no joke.
Tax their coffins, tax their shrouds,
Tax their souls beyond the clouds.
Tax all business, tax the shop,
Tax their incomes, tax their stocks;
Tax the living, tax the dead,
Tax the unborn before they’re fed.
Tax the water, tax the air,
Tax the sunlight, if you dare.
Tax them all and tax them well,
Tax them to the gates of hell.
But close your eyes so you can’t see,
The coupon clipper go tax free.—
Don Lupton in the Denver Post.

Google Books
March 1923, The Peanut Promoter, pg. 39:
About Tax Exempt Securities
Tax the people, tax with care
Tax to help the millionaire.
Tax the farmer, tax his fowl,
Tax his dog and tax his howl.
Tax the hen, and tax her egg,
And let the bloomin’ mudsill beg.
Tax the pig, and tax his squeal,
Tax his boots, run down at heel;
Tax his horses, tax his lands,
Tax the blisters on his hands.
Tax his plow and tax his clothes,
Tax the rag that wipes his nose.
Tax his house and tax his bed,
Tax the bald spot on his head.
Tax the ox, and tax the ass,
Tax the “Henry”, tax the gas; (Henry Ford, meaning an automobile.—ed.)
Tax the road that he must pass,
And make him travel o’er the grass,
Tax his cow, and tax the calf,
Tax him if he dares to laugh.
He is but a common man,
So tax the cuss, just all you can.
Tax the lab’rer, but be discreet,
Tax him for walking on the street.
Tax his bread, and tax his meat,
Tax the shoes clear off his feet.
Tax the payroll, tax the sale,
Tax all his hard-earned paper kale.
Tax his pipe, and tax his smoke,
Teach him government is no joke.
Tax their coffins, tax their shrouds,
Tax their souls beyond the clouds.
Tax all business, tax the shop,
Tax their incomes, tax their stocks;
Tax the living, tax the dead,
Tax the unborn before they’re fed.
Tax the water, tax the air,
Tax the sunlight, if you dare.
Tax them all and tax them well,
Tax them to the gates of hell.
But close your eyes so you can’t see,
The Tax Exempt Security.—
-- Don Lupton in Denver Post.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, November 29, 2015 • Permalink