Songwriter's Corner|

Photo: Oliver Anthony | By Kady Ruth Ashcraft, Jezebel / Yahoo | (Lyrics to the song listed elsewhere in this newsletter). On August 8th, the unmistakably unknown singer Oliver Anthony uploaded his original song “Rich Men North of Richmond” to YouTube, and as of Tuesday, the song sits atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The stripped-down Appalachian folk tune lamenting the plight of the working man, along with conflicting jabs at who’s responsible for said plight, was immediately extolled by rightwing figureheads like Matt Walsh, Jack Posobiec, Ian Miles Cheong, Kari Lake, and Joe Rogan — a real who’s who of people I’ve muted on Twitter and would certainly never pass the aux chord to.

“I wish politicians would look out for miners / And not just minors on an island somewhere / Lord, we got folks in the street, ain’t got nothin’ to eat/ And the obese milkin’ welfare,” Anthony sings. He manages to scorn the government for not supporting society’s vulnerable, while also scorning society’s vulnerable for not properly allocating government support, all within a verse about harboring Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories. Walsh praised the song for being “raw and authentic,” while Posobiec wondered when “the last time a new song hit me like this.” It’s a populist (ish) fever dream of a tune, despite Anthony describing his political standing as “dead center.” But now that the man who the Right crowned their ideological troubadour isn’t upholding the full weight of their contradictory credo, some fast fans are souring on him.

“We’ve gotta go back to the roots of what made this country great in the first place, which is our sense of community. I mean, we are the melting pot of the world and that’s what makes us strong, is our diversity, and we need to learn to harness that and appreciate it, and not use it as a political tool to keep everyone separate from each other you know?”

As quickly as conservatives and right-wing nutsos glommed onto the bearded singer with a high, lonesome, “authentic” warble, they freaked out over his embrace of diversity. Diversity is, of course, the first symptom of the incurable “wokeness” disease. “Promoted algorithm boosted ‘based’ red beard hillbilly song guy was faking his accent and says diversity is our strength,” one user tweeted, receiving over 8,500 likes. Another user wrote, “Did he sell out already to the rich men north of Richmond?”
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10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About “Rich Men North of Richmond” Singer Oliver

By Tyler Piccotti, Biography

Anthony claimed on Facebook he turned down a music offer worth $8 million off the success of “Rich Men,” and he insists he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. “I don’t want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows,” he wrote. “I never wanted to be a full time musician, much less sit at the top of the iTunes charts.”

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Rich Men North of Richmond Singer Condemns Republicans After Song Used in Debate

By Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

Oliver Anthony, the writer and singer of the mega-hit Rich Men North of Richmond, hit out at Republican candidates for president who discussed his song in the debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

“It was funny seeing my song at that presidential debate. Because I wrote that song about those people, you know, so for them to have to sit there and listen to that, that cracks me up. It was funny kind of seeing the response to it,” the Virginian said in a statement on Friday.

A stark lament over the plight of the working class, Rich Men North of Richmond is top of the Billboard Hot 100, the first song by an artist with no chart history to make No 1.
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[Thanks to Alex Teitz for contributing this article!]

Photo: Oliver Anthony (Facebook)

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