Me And The I.R.S. By Johnny Paycheck

No Where To Run

1978 | Country

Spotify | Amazon

"Well you can tell the boys at the IRS this old boy hell I've had enough. -- The way the big man rakes it in the little man coughs it up. -- Well the bite keeps getting bigger and the pay check's a getting small. -- You know the IRS ain't gonna rest until they think they've got it all."


  • Johnny Paycheck got hist start with George Jones as a bassist, steel guitarist and backing vocalist.
  • He was part of the Outlaw Country movement of the 70's with contemporaries like David Allen Coe, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, and Merle Haggard.
  • Born Donald Eugene Lytle he changed his name to Johnny Paycheck officially in 1964.
  • His biggest hit was Take This Job And Shove It written by David Allen Coe.


Luke Tatum

Again with that marvelous, rebellious spirit! This song is from the late 70's. What has happened to this resistance? Like the anti-war left, it seems to have evaporated. At least in large part, the libertarians are leading the way in questioning authority, fighting against the warfare state, and now opposing taxation. Too many of the anti-government sentiments, like "You can write me off 'cause I ain't givin' a dime to the IRS!" have drifted so far out of the mainstream that to express them sees you accused of being a "neckbeard" or something similar. The key to the whole libertarian business may be the war-peace question, but the next step down the line is taxation. Without the power to tax, so many of the things that we struggle against would not even be possible.

Sherry Voluntary

Known as the Little Man’s Little Man, Johnny Paycheck has had his share of financial woes and problems with the IRS. After filing for bankruptcy in 1990 due to aforementioned run-ins, he died indigent and his funeral plot was donated by George Jones, and the expenses paid for by his manager. While the IRS doesn’t hold all of the responsibility for Paychecks hard times, it certainly holds the responsibility for interjecting a burden into the man’s life that was completely unjust. This is one of the problems with tax burdens. The financial problems that people sometimes run into are unfortunate in life, but adding onto that thee fines for existing called taxes, is the equivalent of kicking someone while their down. This song is, in my opinion, just as sad a Johnny’s life. While it presents many feelings of resentment and some of the ways in which the IRS preys on people, there is one line that excuses it all. “I don't mind kickin' into my fair share….” In a 1978 interview with People Magazine after his first IRS audit, he said “Everybody pays taxes,..” “..and they know that if they didn’t this country wouldn’t be what it is—the greatest in the world. But people still don’t like it, and they feel they’ve got the right to bitch a little.” To me it is tragic that after all he had gone through over decades with the IRS he was still so sold on the idea that we all have a “fair share” of taxes. The indoctrination is very very strong. So strong in fact, that even those who have been victimized up close and personal by the IRS are still convinced of the idea that it is justified for everyone to have taken from them, some portion of their income. Taxation is theft, and the battle to rid ourselves of it is going to be a very long and difficult battle.

Nicky P

This song makes me want to put my boots on. Haven't worn them since my brothers wedding but if anything instills that country spirit, its telling the IRS to fuck off. I know when it boils down most people with this attitude are just as statist as the lefties they'd admonish, simply for different things. But I'll admit I can't help but be taken in by a swaggering hillbilly voice and it's bravado. He makes some jokes throughout the song that I enjoy, in particular the fact that we spend money on learning about the south American swamp rat when he could buy a few more beers. But in all seriousness mother government knows how to live your life better than you do good citizen.

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Nicky P

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