Right Wing Country Song – Rolling Stone

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Right-wing influencers are losing their minds over a new country song that just appeared on streaming services today. “Rich Men North of Richmond” is a passionate screed against the state of the country sung by Oliver Anthony, who identifies as a farmer living off the grid with his three dogs in Farmville, Virginia. In a video Anthony posted to YouTube earlier this month, he says he started writing songs in 2021 after he “wasted a lot of nights getting high and getting drunk.”

Raw, solo songs with titles like “I’ve Got to Get Sober” and “Ain’t Gotta Dollar” helped cultivate a small following, but it was the recently released performance video of “Rich Men North of Richmond” — in which the red-bearded Anthony performs the song on a resonator guitar in a field with a deer blind behind him — that caught the attention of conservative personalities like country singer John Rich and commentators Dan Bongino and Matt Walsh. “The main reason this song resonates with so many people isn’t political. It’s because the song is raw and authentic. We are suffocated by artificiality,” tweeted Walsh, vowing to promote any album Anthony releases on “all of my platforms.”

A look at the lyrics, however, may suggest another reason why “Rich Men North of Richmond” is appealing to right-wing influencers. Anthony rails against high taxes and the value of the dollar, but also wades into some Reagan-era talking points about welfare.

“Lord, we got folks in the street, ain’t got nothing to eat/and the obese milking welfare,” he sings. “Well God, if you’re 5 foot 3 and you’re 300 pounds/taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.”

The real head-turner though is an apparent allusion to Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean island, where the billionaire and convicted sex offender allegedly introduced underage girls to powerful associates: “I wish politicians would look out for miners/and not just minors on an island somewhere.”

In his straight-to-camera introduction video, Anthony, who according to a post on YouTube cites Hank Williams Jr., no stranger to political songs, as his biggest influence, says he sits “pretty dead center down the aisle on politics and always have,” and that “it seems like both sides serve the same master — and that master is not someone of any good to the people of this country.”

He also talks about “human trafficking,” which he admits is alluded to in the lyrics “Rich Men North of Richmond.” “One of the worst things a human being can do is take advantage of a child,” he says in the video. “I think I drew the line on being quiet when I started to see that becoming normalized. And I’ll leave that at that.”


One conservative influencer compared “Rich Men North of Richmond” to Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town.” “The 2 most viral country songs of the last month are: Jason Aldean’s ‘Try that in a Small Town’ Oliver Anthony’s ‘Rich Men North of Richmond,” the account DC Draino tweeted. “You might notice a theme there… People are starved for music that speaks to them about today’s problems.”

Anthony, meanwhile, sings that he’s simply just one of many trying to navigate a complicated 21st century: “Lord, it’s a damn shame/what the world’s gotten to/for people like me and people like you.”

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