Oliver Anthony, a redneck’s idea of a poet: “Lord, we got folks in the street ain’t got nothin’ to eat / And the obese milkin’ welfare.” Courtesy RadioWV/YouTube

I don’t give a shit about Oliver Anthony, and I don’t give a shit about his controversial song. I can’t. I don’t have the energy to get mad about it. Wow, really? A ginger beardo from a farm in the former Confederacy wrote lyrics that seem to be racially coded and loosely anti-government? Wait until you hear about how the sun is going to continue to rise in the east every 24 hours, because apparently you are easily astonished. If the very idea of such a song offends you, stop giving people like Oliver Anthony air.

That should be the end of it, because I do not want to give this person any more attention, let alone boost his numbers, which is also why I have never listened to Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town.” As an aside, I come from a small town, Jason Aldean, and I know what you’re really talking about, which is why I live in a big city, even though this particular big city feels like a small town 99% of the time.

Anyway, the most recent piece about Anthony’s song that I’ve perused (The Nation, Aug 18) is literally titled “The New Bard of the Right.” If that’s what Oliver Anthony is, then why would I give his music a spin? In the pictures I’ve seen of him, he’s holding a dobro, and I don’t typically listen to music made by people holding dobros. Moreover, I vote Democrat, even when it chagrins me, and, most importantly, I’m 45 years old and time is finite. There are millions of minutes of problematic music I’d rather hear by artists who don’t appeal to conservatives than this, and even if Anthony’s fans laud him for speaking to the plight of so-called forgotten people, I don’t care about that, either. You know who writes music that empowers forgotten people? Insane fucking Clown Posse. And I’d rather hear all 16 ICP studio albums and every EP in between — and there are 19 of those — back-to-goddamn-back than give 30 seconds to Oliver Anthony’s Spotify plays.


Man, I should be so lucky! Because now I’ve had to look up the lyrics to Anthony’s song, which is already more of my finite time loaned to this guy. If you’ve already read any think piece on “Rich Men North of Richmond,” then you probably know what I’m going to say, especially because we probably both exist in similar content ecosystems. Alas …

Right up front, there’s the title of the song itself, which will matter most to people who respond well to dog whistles. If you are politically progressive, you will find a Confederate sympathizer’s lament lodged within the title’s subtext (because Richmond was the capital of the loser Confederacy), but if the echoes in your mental chamber come from various right-wing apparati, the phrase “Rich Men North of Richmond” is a sick burn scorched on the backs of the liberals in Washington who want to run your lives. It’s a burn even sicker than “Let’s Go Brandon,” and if you thought “Let’s Go Brandon” was indeed a very sick burn, then Oliver Anthony will seem like a fucking laser cannon.

He’s not, not unless laser cannons are characterized by having half-formed ideas of how the world works. Consider “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.”

I mean, I guess these are wishes everyone should be able to get behind, but why is Anthony talking shit about the rich men north of Richmond when there are predatory politicians much closer to his home? Like what has Glen Youngkin done for the working man, Oliver Anthony? Do you even know who he is? Because when you talk about rich men north of Richmond, a really good example of one of those is the current governor of Virginia. I don’t have the space here to get into it, but since your music probably appeals to the “do your own research” crowd (what with that Q-baiting line about “minors on an island” and all), you ought to look up Glen Youngkin and the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm where he worked for 25 years. For 22 of them, he worked on the buyout teams, negotiating deals that put thousands of people out of work, and that’s just one tiny reason why Gov. Glen Youngkin is not a poor, working person’s friend.

As for the part about hungry people on the street and obese people Hoovering up welfare money, I don’t know what to tell you, Oliver Anthony. I couldn’t find a stat about the obese people in Virginia and what they do or do not milk. Do you have a solution? Because prior to hassling 5-foot-3 300-pound people on welfare about what they’re eating, you grouse about how “your dollar ain’t shit, and it’s taxed to no end.” How do you, Oliver Anthony, propose to feed these hungry street people? I know it’s not by giving them snacks, because later in your song, you say, “Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.” So you’re saying tax money, a thing that the government collects and distributes to Americans for various reasons, should have parameters on what the recipients can use it for? OK, fine, but who decides what those parameters are? Is it you, Oliver Anthony? What if the person who writes the law designed to curtail an obese person’s abuse of welfare money — thereby ensuring that Oliver Anthony’s taxes don’t have to pay for anyone else’s empty calories — turns out to be a rich man north of Richmond?

I don’t fucking know, and Oliver Anthony doesn’t, either. Maybe he thinks Glen Youngkin is a destructive villain for the same reasons that I do. I doubt it, but unless Anthony puts out a doom metal song (or a reggae song or a song that sounds like Steely Dan) called “Glen Youngkin Is a Villain for Various Reasons,” I’m not going to listen to his music, because it doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t want to give Oliver Anthony any more of my time. Unless you are into his dumb brand, you shouldn’t either.


  1. Remember, we Libs should be making a sincere effort to understand what makes shitheads like Oliver Anthony so angry. I mean, just look at him: He’s so confused and earnest and naive and country and white; his anger, therefore, must be legitimate!

    Or, he’s just another stupid racist who’s all too happy to blame the wrong people for his problems. And all too susceptible to the fat cats whose job is to get him riled up and keep him distracted while they fuck him over. Rinse and repeat.

    They may not all look like extras from Deliverance, but there’s a scary amount of people in this country who feel just like ol’ Oliver does. The extent of their rage and comfort with which they display it does not make it righteous.

  2. The Fort Worth Weekly really has no understanding of what blue collar Americans are going through. There is nothing in this song that would lead a true journalist to believe this is a Q propaganda . Looser Anthem ? So men committing suicide , because they feel hopeless and suffer from depression due to not being abel to provide for their family and get ahead , are losers ? The Weekly is not worthy to even use as birdcage liner .

  3. If you are going to allow this libtard space your weekly, you need to also have some one with an opposing view (and a brain) have the opportunity to share his/her thoughts. Biased media is a real problem in this country and Steve Steward is the epitome of a snowflake. Guess he is in the minority since it blew up the charts to #1 and Steve is probably sitting at home crying in his beer (or warm milk).

  4. Perhaps Oliver Anthony does care about any of the drivel you’ve spun-out, Mr. Steward. What if that’s only a song he wrote, one time, and sung and played in earnest? What if that’s all that was?

    Would you hate him, because he’s not good enough? Or, would you hate him because he was celebrated by the right? Would you hate him because you’re a polemical critic and you make your living off clicks and views?

    You’re very wordy. Tell us more about how you hate him.

    To me? This is a song someone wrote and played. That’s all it is. Someone made art. And that’s cool. Someone made music, and that’s better than most of whatever anyone can do.

    Oliver is just a guy who made a song. Let’s not get too heavy with it. He’s only making art. No big deal. We don’t have to read-much into it.

    There’s no conspiracy, with him, you know? He isn’t going to declare white supremacy and dance on Beyoncé’s grave.

    Chill out.

  5. Why don’t you write a song as a rebuttal?!

    If you dislike this song, so much, why not?

    Can you? You’re a 40-something year old man.

    Write the rebuttal to a song that doesn’t need rebutting.

    You can’t. Because it doesn’t need rebutting.

  6. Maybe Davy drooling Gravy . . . This took ten minutes:

    “Rich Men North of a Millions”

    You’ve been sellin’ your soul, confused all day,
    overtime hours for an easier way to play
    So you can sit around and waste your days,
    And try to sound profound about the taxes you pay.

    It’s a dumb shame what the world’s gotten to
    For conservative cretins just tryin’ to get through
    Wish you could fake bullshit that sheeple thought was true,
    But bullshit it is, oh, through and through

    Livin’ in the past
    With a droll soul
    You criticize the poor instead of the white men with more,
    And Lord knows you’d just like to even the score
    But you’re so ignorant about who are the real whores,
    You don’t even bother to think, and drink the Red Kool-Aid,
    And your hollerin’s are those of a twit that’s barely sentient
    Cause of Rich Men North of Millions

    You wish politicians would look out for clueless whiners,
    And not just the poor, the suffering and the caged minors,
    So you got sound-bites to repeat, replete with deceit
    And you ignore the rich who are making you their bitch

    Hell, God, if you’re a doofus ginger and fake folk-avenger,
    Don’t you deserve to be heard even if it’s absurd?
    Young, dumpy, virgin white men are cryin’ in their beer
    But no one is listening here, because you’re no longer feared

    And Lord knows you’d just like to even the score
    For people like Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson and the other whores
    Wish you could write a cool song about the world gone wrong
    But you’re a moron, you’re a moron.

    Livin in the past
    With a droll soul
    You criticize the poor instead of the white men with more,
    And Lord knows you’d just like to even the score
    But you’re so ignorant about who really are the real whores,
    You don’t even bother to think, and drink the Red Kool-Aid,
    And your hollerin’s are those of a twit that’s barely sentient
    Cause of Rich Men North of Millions

    You’ve been slingin’ bullshit, pretending all day
    That you ain’t the problem, that you’re actually the better way

  7. Anthony Mariano the editor of this “rag” needs to hire someone to babysit this 40 something wanna be writer that for some reason feels he has to write a mini novel about a subject that doesn’t warrant 30 seconds of his precious time. Doesn’t anyone look at this content before the presses roll?
    I am particularly offended by the profusely sprinkled F bombs, and unnecessary vulgar language used like a teenager cursing to get attention.
    I could go on and on about all the discrepancies in his analogy of the words in this song but like Steward I’ve needlessly rambled on for no apparent reason to a left wing inspired publication. How you even get readers in this city I have literally no clue, I personally don’t read this trash, I use it for dog pee pad liner… my wife pointed out the article which has already wasted more than 20 minutes of my ever fleeting retired life…
    That’s all I’ve got.

  8. I cannot understand how some middle aged guy who used to work in a papermill in western North Carolina, writing a song and singing off key should bother anybody so much. Obviously the man just wants to give his opinion and move on. Mr. Stewart doesn’t even know how the singer votes, but appears pre disposed to attack him and poor gov Youngkin in Va.