Conservatives have rallied around the song, which was even the topic of the first question at this week’s GOP presidential primary debate, as an anthem for working-class Americans who are too often overlooked by the wealthy political class.
But liberals have mocked the song as missing the mark, particularly for its focus on people abusing welfare instead of going after the rich men themselves.
So it seems like everybody’s gotten something different out of the song, depending on where you stand politically.
But what does Oliver Anthony hope people take away from his viral hit?
In an interview with The Free Press, Anthony (whose real name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford) spoke about what he wants people to get out of “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
“It’s for people, for one, to stop relying on someone 150 or 500 miles away from them to solve their problems for them. Nobody in Washington DC, no one in the federal government’s coming to save us.
The people that are going to save us are each other. Local relationships, even families are torn apart…
I’ve seen this in my own household at times, where you’ll have a whole family under the same roof, and instead of them spending time with each other and caring about each other, every one of them’s sitting there just looking at their own piece of technology, like completely self-absorbed in that and not in each other.
That’s the real problem. We’re very disconnected from each other, just on a community level.”