Things I can't find on the internet

Film, stage, music, books and so on...
Post Reply
Brock
HD
Posts: 1520
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Brock »

Following on from this post, it occurs to me that this forum might be a good place for such queries.

My grandfather used to sing this and it's bothered me for ages. I assume it was an old music-hall song, but I've no idea who performed or wrote it, and I've forgotten the first line:

"[Something-something-something] / We'll have to face the facts / The cause of all the problems is the Income Tax / Why should we / Have to pay / Four-and-ninepence on the Schedule A?"

Any ideas?

User avatar
Darren Fricker
405 lines
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:52 pm

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Darren Fricker »

I asked around and haven't identified the song (yet) but got these suggestions.

#####################################################################

It does indeed sound like a Music Hall song. A place to start might be to discover when Schedule A income tax rate was 4s 9d in the pound.

#####################################################################

Schedule A was about taxing rents, and was repealed in 1963

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/196 ... tc/enacted

#####################################################################

Schedule A formed part of both the 1970 and 1988 Income & Corporation Taxes Acts (for rental income) but was, I think, eliminated by the Gordon Brown inspired simplification of 2007 (Income Tax) and 2010 (Corporation Tax) which decided to tax income as income and profits as profits largely regardless of source.

#####################################################################

I asked my dad (born 1933 in Middlesex and a musician) if he knew it. He said, " No but it sounds like the kind of thing I expect from the Brits"

#####################################################################


Happy searching !

brigham
HD
Posts: 1073
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by brigham »

"... I asked my dad (born 1933 in Middlesex and a musician) if he knew it. He said, " No but it sounds like the kind of thing I expect from the Brits"..."

Your father didn't consider Middlesex to be in Britain in 1933?

Brock
HD
Posts: 1520
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Brock »

Darren Fricker wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:39 am
I asked around and haven't identified the song (yet) but got these suggestions.
Thanks for those. I assume the song dates from the time when income tax stopped being a tax only paid by the very wealthy and started to be levied on large sections of the population. This site suggests it was around 1907, which would coincide with the height of the music-hall:
Income Tax was formally repealed in 1816, a year after the Battle of Waterloo, but it was reintroduced in 1842 by Sir Robert Peel to deal with a massive public deficit. At this time, it was levied only on the very rich, and it remained so for many years. In 1874, it contributed only £6 million of Government revenues of £77 million.

Income Tax rose dramatically in the early 20th Century. A new range of taxes and rates was introduced in 1907 by Herbert Asquith. In 1909, an alternative to Income Tax for high levels of earnings, called the "Surtax" or "Super Tax" was introduced. Super Tax survived until 1973, when it was replaced with the Higher Rate of Income Tax.
It was only a shilling in the pound when it was first introduced, but it must have gone up pretty quickly after that:
By 1918, the standard rate rose to 30 per cent, which brought in £257 million per annum, on top of £36 million from Super Tax. Moreover, by 1930, 10 million Britons were liable for Income Tax.
30 per cent would have been six shillings in the pound. I'll see if I can find a list of historical tax rates, although it may be of limited use in identifying the song!

User avatar
Darren Fricker
405 lines
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:52 pm

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Darren Fricker »

Tantalisingly, this music hall CD features a track called, 'A Spot Of Income Tax Bother' (which was originally released as a 78) but (a) there's no indication whether it's a song or a monologue and (b) I've not found a copy of that track online to listen to yet.

https://www.musichallcds.co.uk/var37_page.htm

Brock
HD
Posts: 1520
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Brock »

"Humorous Sketch by Clapham & Dwyer" according to the original 78.

I'd forgotten about Clapham and Dwyer and their "Surrealist Alphabet" - the full thing is transcribed here. Funnily enough, my grandfather also used to sing a version of that as well: "A for 'orses, B for honey, C for sailors, D for money..."

User avatar
Ian Wegg
625 lines
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:10 pm

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Ian Wegg »

Brock wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:07 pm
30 per cent would have been six shillings in the pound. I'll see if I can find a list of historical tax rates, although it may be of limited use in identifying the song!
Worth trying though. Matching this with here seems to suggest that it was raised to 4s 9d in Chamberlain's 1936 budget (although that doesn't preclude it from being that figure previously).

Brock
HD
Posts: 1520
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Things I can't find on the internet

Post by Brock »

Well, I've finally found a reference to the song online - though still with no indication of the title, first line, date, performer or composer. From The Times on December 4th 1998 (OCR errors uncorrected):
THERE are few popular songs
dealing with taxation, for ob¬
vious reasons. So the Inland
Revenue had a hard task find¬
ing a soundtrack for yester¬
days launch of the exhibition
“celebratingr 200years of in¬
come tax.

The obvious choice was the
BeatieS" Taxman. But instead
they settled for an obscure
music-hall song. Those who
attended were provided with a
music sheet ,r Why should we
have to pay] Four and
ninepence under Schedule
A/You cannot call it right,
you conno/ call it just/ Why
sing Rule Britannia when the
country’s going bust” Indeed.
(Actually I can think of a few more popular songs dealing with taxation, such as Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks: "The taxman's taken all my dough...")

Ring any bells now?

Post Reply