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 forthcoming—B.P. (10/23)
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Entry from September 25, 2012
“A harp is a piano after taxes”

"A harp is a (grand) piano after taxes” is a jocular statement that has been included in many collections of one-line sayings about taxes. The saying has also been printed on T-shirts. “Harp: a grand piano after taxes” has been cited in print since at least 1977.

A similar saying is “The Eiffel Tower is the Empire State Building after taxes.”


10 June 1977, Chicago Tribune, “Line a’ type,” pg. B2:
Harp: a grand piano after taxes.

Google Books
14,000 Quips & Quotes:
For Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers

By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
1990, ©1980
Pg. 350 and Pg. 495:
A harp is a piano after taxes.

15 April 1992, Daily Republican Register (Mount Carmel, IL), “Musings By The Wabash,” pg. 1, col. 1:
A harp is a piano after taxes. — Louise H. Kunkel.

17 April 2000, Kansas City (MO) Star, “Get a laugh on the IRS: It’s tax day!” by Rick Montgomery, pg. A1:
It mixes the rather clever—“A harp is a piano after taxes”—with a clunky rim shot—“Americans are now in a daze of intaxication.”

Google Books
Chicks Laying Nest Eggs: How 10 Skirts Beat the Pants off Wall Street...And How You Can, Too!
By Karin Housley
New York, NY: Crown Business
2001
Pg. ?:
A harp is a piano after taxes.

26 April 2002, The Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica), “Like sipping gold from a cup” by Desmond Henry, pg. A4, col. 5:
THE BOTTOM LINE: The harp is now being described as a grand piano after taxes.

Google Books
Dictionary of Proverbs
By Glenville Kleiser
New Delhi: A.P.H. Publishing Corporation
2005
Pg. 6:
A harp is a piano after taxes.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, September 25, 2012 • Permalink