(When it comes to protest songs Dylan ain’t got sh17 on this ole boy! Now if he’ll address the wholesale destruction of Southern Culture… – DD)
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How Rich Men North of Richmond Became the Cry of Middle America
(Abbeville Intitute) – Early last week hardly anyone had heard of Oliver Anthony. Now he has four of the top ten songs on Itunes. Three of his songs are being downloaded more than hits by Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift. No one in the music industry has ever risen so dramatically to prominence without radio play, corporate connections, or even a music studio. An Appalachian music Youtube Channel posted one of Anthony’s songs “Rich Men North of Richmond” a few days ago. People on social media picked it up, and the rest is history. So how did this happen and why are people so hungry for Anthony’s music?
The short answer is that decent ordinary people in middle America who enjoy things like Country music and who respect the Bible have almost no one in Nashville or evangelical organizations who sympathize with them. Industry singers and preachers do not publicly value their way of life, seek to defend it, or show frustration when it is under attack. In short, elites do not identify with the common people who make their own successful lives possible. In some ways they resemble the “men north of Richmond” the song takes aim at.
In the case of Oliver Anthony, the market demanded someone willing to stand up for righteousness, not just in the abstract, but in the concrete. In “Rich Men North of Richmond” Anthony calls out things like people taking advantage of welfare, anti-masculine standards, and power-hungry pedophiles in the ruling class. The song channels the righteous indignation of a betrayed people who loyally…