Prioleau Alexander: Inside America’s New Protest Anthem

Oliver Anthony: “Living in the new world, with an old soul …”

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In the 1960s, the American Left’s platform revolved around some simple and righteous ideas: a) The government is bad, and pokes its nose way too far into our lives. b) The little guy doesn’t stand an equal chance to get ahead. c) Personal freedom is paramount.

These beliefs were certainly captured by musician Oliver Anthony in his blockbuster hit “Rich Men North of Richmond.” You’ll find a truncated version of the lyrics below:

I’ve been selling my soul working all day
Overtime hours for bullshit pay
So I can sit out here and waste my life away
Drag back home and drown my troubles away

It’s a damn shame what the world’s gotten to
For people like me and people like you
Wish I could just wake up and it not be true
But it is … oh it is

Living in the new world, with an old soul
These rich men north of Richmond want total control
Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do
And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do
’Cause your dollar ain’t shit and it’s taxed to no end
‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond

(Click to View)

Oliver Anthony (YouTube)

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 nothing to eat
And the obese milking welfare

Well god if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds
Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds
Young men are putting themselves six feet in the ground
‘cause all this damn country does is keep on kicking them down

What issues does this protest song call into view? 

  • Business taking advantage of the little guy. 
  • The overstep of government into our personal lives. 
  • Government overtaxing the working class.
  • Government devaluing our currency through quantitative easing and reckless spending. 
  • Government failing to look out for the interests of the working class, while completely ignoring the fact not one single person has been charged with pedophilia on Epstein’s Island. 
  • We have homeless and hungry Americans, while many welfare recipients spend the money we give them on unhealthy foods that make them obese. 
  • The media, governmental and cultural attack on men for nothing more than being men.

Except for a couple of “less sensitive” lyrics, this could be a liberal anthem from the 1960s. In fact, a No. 1 hit written by Bob Dylan, which hippies would play non-stop during peace rallies and “love-ins.”

But the song is hated and vilified by the left-wing media, because of course it is. Let’s see what they have to say … 

Variety reporter Chris Willman wrote, in an obvious insult:

When he does stick with social issues, he doesn’t seem like a political scientist, exactly: The only three “issues” he addresses in his complaints against politicians are high taxes, welfare queens and child trafficking.

Are these realities really not worth pointing out? Are taxes not a crippling issue for the working class? When heading home from a minimum wage job, is it not deflating to see an obese person use their SNAP benefit card to buy bags of chips, cookies and soft drinks? Does the reality of child sex trafficking not make you sick?

His focus on the latter, which is the sole topic he addresses in his YouTube monologue, has led to the suspicion that he may harbor or represent QAnon (conspiracy theory views)… (by writing) “I wish politicians would look out for miners / And not just minors on an island somewhere.” 

Is this point not 100 percent accurate? The CDC reported that last year, almost 50,000 Americans committed suicide – the highest number ever. Of those, 80 percent were men. And the highest professional demographic committing suicide was among coal miners and men working in the field of extracting oil and natural gas.

I’ll bet dollars to donuts the enlightened Mr. Williams doesn’t know about the rash of miners killing themselves … because, of course, it would require looking into it, not just spewing crybaby vomit through his keyboard. 

Oh, and while those young men were killing themselves, the government did absolutely nothing about pedophiles raping children on Epstein’s Island, save for the pathetically-symbolic arrest of Ghislane Maxwell, who was sentenced to twenty years in prison for sex trafficking — despite the government having failed to prosecute anyone she supposedly trafficked girls to. How can you commit a crime when there’s no evidence a crime was committed? Perhaps the answer will come to light when Ms. Maxwell suicides herself with some magic sheets.

He then goes on to write “some progressives suspect (Oliver Anthony) is an invention of behind-the-scenes forces.”


Do these conveniently un-named progressives actually believe the song was written under the dark of night by some famed songwriter, then secretly smuggled to an unknown off-the-grid farmer? Instead of being given to one of the dozens of conservative superstars who’d love to have the No. 1 hit in the country?”

The stupidity of the suggestion defies the logic of even an Irish Setter.

(Click to View)

Oliver Anthony (Instagram)

The UK’s Independent titled its article about the song, “Viral Right-Wing Anthem” by Country Music Singer Oliver Anthony Branded “Offensive” and “Fatphobic.”

Notice please the use of quotation marks, implying the Independent doesn’t believe this— they’re just reporting the news. Who do they source these insulting adjectives to? Turns out a handful of unknown trolls on Twitter. But, it’s certainly convenient to reference unknown nobodies—without linking to them—in order to write a headline as if it “wasn’t their opinion.”

Scott Norvell of the New York Sun wrote, “The song has drawn scorn from liberal critics in the music industry, who derisively refer to it as a “right-wing” anthem, full of “Reagan-Era talking points” that “sounds like a Confederate song written in 1864 about losing your slaves.”

Who are these “liberal critics?” A Rolling Stone opinion piece came up with the “right-wing anthem” and “Reagan Era talking points”… but who wrote the incendiary comment about “losing your slaves?”  Another unknown troll on Twitter. This is another clear case of a reporter wanting to make a point, but hiding behind the opinion of any idiot so it appears they are “just reporting the news.” 

Matthew Cantor of The Guardian wrote that Anthony has been compared to Bob Dylan and Woody Gutherie, then followed with “If either of them recorded a song mocking the poorest of the poor, it’s been lost to history.”

Apparently, it’s lost to Cantor’s brain that the song is clearly making an appeal for the nation to reach out to the homeless and the hungry, who are actually the poorest of the poor—not those obese welfare remoras who spend their government check on junk food and sugary drinks, instead of nutritious and healthy foods.

Emma Keates of A.V. Club wrote, “Richmond was also the capital and northernmost city in the Confederacy. So, in that case, rich men north of Richmond would be … everyone in the North, which obviously paints a far grimmer picture.” 

Is it possible for the human brain to stretch that far into mental divergence? That sentence makes Q-Anon’s theory about adrenochrome harvesting sound level-headed.

She then goes on to note that Anthony’s lyrics are “generally still based on a number of regressive and gross stereotypes that are filtering into mainstream in a frightening way.”

For the purposes of remaining on topic, let’s leave out the hundreds of stereotypical rap and hip-hop hits that glorify and encourage rape, murder, drug use, misogyny and the killing of police officers. Let’s simply compare the “regressive and gross stereotypes” to actual reality … where grown-ups possessing critical thinking reside:

-Crippling taxation of the middle class: Real.

-Inflation devaluing the dollar: Real.

-Companies underpaying the working class: Real.

-D.C. politicians wanting total control: Real.

-D.C. politicians wanting to know what you think and do: Real.

-D.C. politicians destroying the entire mining industry (and dozens of others) for the sake of inefficient and failing “renewable energy.”: Real.

-A total cover-up of the rapes on Epstein’s Island: Real.

-A crises-level situation with homeless and hungry: Real.

-An epidemic of suicide among young men: Real.

-Obesity among welfare recipients: Per the CDC, real.

What happened to the hippies of the 1960s? Progressives today would be unrecognizable to them. 



Today, they are howling proponents of heavy-handed federal law enforcement, to the point of actually cheering the un-investigated shooting of Ashley Babbitt on January 6, 2021, and pre-dawn SWAT raids on old men charged with non-violent crimes. 

They are indignant defenders of the rights of Big Tech. They believe Big Pharma is a benevolent force for good. They fight constantly on behalf of squelching free speech. They prostrate themselves before the liberal financial elites. They believe the idea of “the forgotten man” in the working class is a right-wing conspiracy. They shriek, when in fact measured debate is what’s needed.

If we’ve reached the point where half of America refuses to stand behind a protest song pointing out factual grievances against the government … and to the point they side with the federal government over the working class … perhaps we are beyond the point of no return. 

In his first public appearance since his song went viral, Oliver Anthony read Psalm 37. Those are words of truth, speaking of our Creator. Perhaps we can take some comfort in them.

Perhaps we can also take some comfort in the fact not everyone is marching to the established order and reflexively recoiling from Anthony’s anthem. Or the fact Anthony himself isn’t selling out to the highest bidder.



Prioleau Alexander (Provided)

Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile. Oh, and if you want to see his preferred bio pic? Click here …



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Try That in a Fudge Round August 21, 2023 at 8:55 am

Hey man, I work hard at a crappy job, long hours, crap pay. You know who’s fault that is? My employer, who is mercilessly exploiting my labor? No! Politicians and people on welfare!

Or, if you saw some of Oliver’s favorited vids on YouTube, the Joooooooooooooooooos!

“The most revealing window into Anthony’s worldview may be a YouTube playlist he curated, “Videos that make your noggin get bigger.” The list includes performances from Luciano Pavarotti and Hank Williams Sr., but it also features several talking heads popular among the far right — Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan — as well as multiple clips putting forward the conspiracy theory that Jews were responsible for 9/11.”

Dan August 22, 2023 at 10:50 am

This is clearly a song about the evils of capitalism.

Even if the song writer, fans of the song and the writer of this blog post are too dumb to recognize it.

Lord Barfington August 21, 2023 at 12:26 pm

Lord we got folks in the street ain’t got nothing to eat
And the obese milking welfare

Well god if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds
Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds

This guy needs to visit a trailer park in S.C. and see how many fat-ass crackers there are on welfare.

2 stars August 21, 2023 at 4:56 pm

I had to laugh at that silly hypocritical line.

Dude, looks like a fat ass himself.

Sound like the guy really hates the South. Maybe he should move to a Blue State?

Commies To My Left August 22, 2023 at 10:45 am

Where did he say that there were none? Did he denote race? Of course he didn’t but you commies make eveything about race, now don’t you?

Prioleau Alexander August 21, 2023 at 2:19 pm

Lord Barfington, why would you assume he was talking about Black Americans? Racist much?

Observer (the real one) August 22, 2023 at 10:26 am

Yeah, this singing fella is definitely racist much.

Check out his YouTube curated playlists. Probably old news to you, huh?

2 stars August 21, 2023 at 4:41 pm

The fella is a good singer, but he should leave the lyric writing to someone else.

It reads like a confused conspiracy theorist who has a weak grasp of the outside world. He is just regurgitating silly crap he read on the internet and believes is true.

No wonder the MAGA crowds is so in awe of this little diddy.

Meanwhile, Kid Rock is drinking Bud Light again. Where’s the outrage?

yup August 21, 2023 at 7:26 pm

This blog post being stupid as hell: REAL

Buckley Carlson August 21, 2023 at 9:54 pm

This salt of the earth man is just singing about the need for another tax cut for the wealthiest and corporations.

All of his problems are caused by taxes that the government will just give away to Little Debbie fans anyways.

A true conservative hero!

Ralph Hightower Top fan August 22, 2023 at 2:14 am

Go ahead and drown your sorrows with another suitcase (24 pack) of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Kid Rock August 22, 2023 at 10:24 am

I prefer Bud Light! Great brew for real conservatives again!

jbl1a August 22, 2023 at 9:17 am

If you have a problem with this song and cant see what he’s talking about well you just might be part of the problem. Politicians have sold out our nation to foreign interests and corporate giants….

A Name August 22, 2023 at 10:23 am

A tune for simpleton “conservatives” who get all their info from conspiracy sites.

Glad you have an “anthem” now ;-)

Commies To My Left August 22, 2023 at 10:53 am

How refreshing to see the usual gaggle of commie bots on here to throw rotten vegetables and bullshit at another great and on-target article by Mr Alexander. Gee, where ever would we be without you guys and your twisted logic?

I hope to one day learn if there are just that many commies who like to come here and roost and crap on everything, or are you guys paid, or perhaps part of some USC student union?

Dan August 22, 2023 at 10:52 am

So you think capitalism is evil too?

Because that is what he’s clearly singing about.

Frank August 22, 2023 at 6:01 pm

Over the past 50 years every single piece of legislation that benefited giant corporations, the mega-wealthy Americans who own those Corporations, and foreign interests, at the expense of average Americans has been passed when Republicans were in control of Congress or when we had a Republican President. Every single one.

Now the Republicans want to go after your Social Security and Medicare to pay for the huge debt the country has run up as a result of the massive tax cuts the Republicans gave to those giant corporations while they were earning record profits. How can you people be so blind?

DC is corrupt August 22, 2023 at 9:15 pm

You think there is a difference between corrupt R legislators and corrupt D legislators, how cute. They are ALL corrupt.

Robert August 24, 2023 at 12:45 am

I don’t care about Oliver’s political opinions expressed in the song.

i thought the song sucked and i never listened to it again.


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