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“Rich Men North of Richmond,” written by Oliver Anthony, is a song released on the 8th of August, 2023. It has secured three spots in Apple Music’s top 10. The meaning of “Rich Men North of Richmond” lyrics by Oliver Anthony is justice for societal disparity & power struggles of the middle class. This viral song has pushed Anthony from nothing to fame overnight. His song led to legendary country star John Rich offering his assistance to help Anthony produce a record. You can listen to Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” below.
Oliver Anthony, Rich Men North of Richmond: Lyrics Meaning Explained
The first verse of “Rich Men North of Richmond” lyrics by Oliver Anthony portrays the struggles faced by the middle class in America. His song begins with “I’ve been sellin’ my soul, workin’ all day // Overtime hours for bulls… pay”. These lines highlight how people have been living paycheck to paycheck in the USA just to make ends meet. These people feel like they are wasting their life away by working for corporate America. All they want to do is finish their shift, go back to their homes, and then drink to relax. There is also a similar representation in the outro of the song.
In the pre-chorus, Oliver Anthony complains about the state of the world with the lyrics “It’s a damn shame what the world’s gotten to // For people like me and people like you.” We are working endlessly while someone else reaps the benefits of our work. The singer finds this shameful and wishes that this weren’t true at all. However, he doesn’t want to live in delusions. He confirms the reality by singing the lines “But it is, oh, it is.”
In the lyrics of the chorus, Oliver Anthony mentions “Rich Men North of Richmond.” Here, the singer wishes for independence from these rich men with the lines “These rich men north of Richmond // Lord knows they all just wanna have total control.” Oliver Anthony hints at corporate America running a legal workforce as per their will in the name of economy and prosperity. This is where the power imbalance exists as a few rich men decide to dictate the lives of people who do not have the same level of influence. He represents these emotions with lines “And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do // ‘Cause your dollar ain’t s… and it’s taxed to no end”
The second verse of the song talks about how the politicians don’t really care for the people. Oliver Anthony asserts how some groups of people are favored over others in our society. “I wish politicians would look out for miners // And not just minors on an island somewhere” means politicians should prioritize policy security for hardworking miners instead of favoring surgeries for minors which they could potentially regret later. There are real people who have it difficult to make ends meet and there are some people who are obese and asking for acceptance and inclusivity.
In the third verse of “Rich Men North of Richmond” lyrics, Oliver Anthony talks about how people unhealthy by their choice get preference welfare over hungry people with no choice. The body mass index for people 5 foot 3 inches in height and 300 pounds of weight is considered to be obese. This is what “Well, God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds” means. Meanwhile, there are hardworking miners digging six feet under the ground to keep these impossible infrastructures functioning. But nobody cares for them. Read the original lyrics of Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” via Genius.
Context of “Rich Men North of Richmond” Lyrics by Oliver Anthony
The song “Rich Men North of Richmond” by Oliver Anthony shows how the working class in America is laboring. It went viral within 2 days of its release and his three songs simultaneously charted in Apple Music’s top 10 for the first time. He wasn’t particularly a famous person before this happened in his career. His connections in the industry have improved after the success of this song. Now, the legendary country star John Rich has offered his assistance to help Oliver Anthony produce a record.
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