Originals

The Tax-Hating Hidden Messages Inside Shakira’s Music

“Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer, Shakira, of failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($13.9 million) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a hefty fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion.” – NPR, 9/27/22

It turns out Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd aren’t the only ones who hide fucked-up, authority-hating messages in their music. Shakira does too. And after she was accused of tax evasion, I re-examined her biggest hits in search of cryptic, foreboding, tax-evasion-related messages. Here’s what I found:


“Underneath Your Clothes” (2001):

Underneath your clothes



There’s an endless story

About a woman

Whose name rhymes with Shmashmira 

Who has a strict aversion to being a lawfully abiding citizen

And paying her taxes.

It’s kinda weird that this story 

Is somehow underneath your clothes?

But maybe that means

You’ll get charged with tax evasion – 

And not me!

Sorry, babe. 


“She Wolf” (2009):

There’s a tax-evading she wolf in the closet

Open up and set her free (ahoo!)

There’s a tax-evading she wolf in the closet

Let her out so she can cheat! (ahoooo!) 


“Beautiful Liar” (2006):

Let’s not kill the karma

(Ay) let’s not start a fight

(Ay) it’s not worth the drama

For a beautiful liar

(Oh) can’t we laugh about it? (ha-ha-ha)

(Oh) it’s not worth my time

(Oh) Taxes, that is.

(Oh) I really want to clarify here,

(Oh?) That I’m talking about taxes

(What?!) And not paying them

(Shakira!) Because I hate them

(Shakira!!) And they’re not worth my time

(Shakira?!!) Because like the title of this song,

(You should just pay them!) I’m just a beautiful liar


“Whenever, Wherever” (2001):

Baby, I would climb the Andes solely

To count the freckles on your body

But baby, I’m kinda thinking about not paying my taxes

At some unspecified time in the future

They’re absolute bullshit.

You know what taxes are? 

They’re those stupid-ass,

Compulsory contributions you have to make to the state!

Whenever, wherever

We’re meant to be together

I’ll be there, and you’ll be near

Just please, no taxes, my dear


“My Hips Don’t Lie (But I Do, About My Taxes)” (2005):

I’m on tonight

You know my hips don’t lie (no fighting)

But to be blunt, I do lie (you do?)

I lie about taxes (What?) 

And I hate them so much, I’m going to try (Try what?)

Really fucking hard to not pay them. (This is crazy!)

For a two year span (Weirdly specific!) 

In about 10 years. (Uhhh….) 

And I’ll never get caught!! (Whattttttt?!)

by Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill is a writer and musician living in New York. He loves animals, rock & roll, and a nice pair of jeans.