Taxation Without Representation

lyrics by Mr. Matsu’s class at Haskell STEAM Magnet

may be sung to the tune of the “Ground Theme” composed by Koji Kondo

         (a.k.a. the Super Mario Brothers video game theme)


After the French and Indian War in the year 1764

Parliament levied heavy new taxes on sugar and molasses

The colonists were so angry that we decided to hang King George in effigy

When the tax was repealed the next year the people cheered

Congress votes on our taxes today, we pay whatever they ask us

But when we were taxed by a land far away we grabbed our torches and axes!


Parliament levied new taxes again, it’s a fact, when they passed the Stamp Act

Everything made out of paper must pay and we wished it would go away

Tax collectors employed the crown found much of their property burned to the ground

When the tax was repealed the next year the people cheered

When Congress votes to tax you and me, we freely pay them whatever

But when we were taxed from over the sea, we grabbed our tar and our feathers!


Finally in 1773 Parliament tried to mess with our tea

Boston got awfully ugly that year with some loyalists fleeing in fear

The Sons Of Liberty dressed up one day and dumped all the tea right into the bay

When Britain tried to settle the score, it led to war

We know with government, nothing comes free, we have to pay for our nation

But we responded militantly when taxed without representation!


Mr. Matsu and his fifth grade students at Haskell STEAM Magnet in Granada Hills, CA wanted to explore the events leading up to the War of American Independence. After a lot of research and argument, they determined that it came down to taxation, specifically to the popular sense that our taxes were being set and collected by a government we no longer considered our own.

The main academic standard addressed here is CA HSS 5.5.1: understand how political, religious, and economic ideas and interests brought about the Revolution (resistance to imperial policy, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, taxes on tea, Coercive Acts). Note I am using California standards here but most U.S. States do Americvan History in 5th grade.