A new folk song by an unknown artist has bumped Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” from the top of one country music chart after an acoustic performance of the song went viral.
Virginia native Oliver Anthony’s blue-collar anthem, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” gained internet fame last week after YouTube channel Radio WV shared Anthony’s passionate performance on their channel. The politically-charged song, explaining the frustrations felt by blue-collar workers over corrupt politicians in Washington, racked up millions of views on YouTube and X, the platform previously known as Twitter.
In just a matter of days, the song skyrocketed to the top of the iTunes country chart, “outpacing the former chart leader, Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That in a Small Town,'” Billboard reported.
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“Rich Men North of Richmond” blasts high taxes and greedy politicians in Washington who “just wanna have total control.” His lyrics compare starving “people in the street” to “obese” Americans abusing the welfare system and laments the suicide epidemic of young men.
“Well God, if you’re 5 foot 3 and you’re 300 pounds, taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds,” Anthony sings. “Young men are putting themselves six feet in the ground, ’cause all this damn country does is keep on kicking them down.”
The song resonated with many listeners, who shared personal stories of what the song meant to them.
One person responded to Radio WV’s video, saying, “I’m a 39 year old Iraq vet and Construction worker, struggling like a dog to take care of two kids and keep a farm going when I’m not working 11 hour days. This hit so hard today I had to stop my old peterbilt and tear up. Preach brother.”
Another person called the song “an anthem for 80+ million Americans who have been smeared, ignored, mocked, slandered, and robbed by their own government.”
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“You speak for millions of us. I’ve been waiting for you Oliver,” another person lauded.
“As a granddaughter of a coal miner I hear you. I get it. This gives me chills and tears. Good job,” one woman wrote.
On X, formerly known as Twitter, conservative commentators, politicians and fellow musicians praised the song as well.
“Now THIS is a real McCoy!” country singer John Rich posted.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares shared, “What a great song and an unreal Virginia talent.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., also wrote “This is the message that Washington needs to hear because this is how our people actually think and feel.”
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Conservative influencer Jason Howerton also posted a Twitter thread detailing the Virginia singer’s personal story of what led him to write the song.
“In the past, Oliver was struggling with mental health & coping with alcohol. In depths of despair, just about a month ago, Oliver got to his knees & broke down in tears. Though he’s wasn’t a religious man, that night he promised God to get sober if he helped him follow his dream,” Howerton wrote. “Oliver was about 30 days sober when someone reached out & asked him to come record a song for his YouTube channel. That song was “Rich Men North of Richmond.” Within days, the song was going VIRAL on social media.”
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Fox News’ Gabriel Hays and Houston Keene contributed to this report.