Montana Politico on the Viral “Rich Men North of Richmond” Song
First off, if you haven't watched this video of Oliver Anthony singing "Rich Men North of Richmond. Watch it below. Then, check out what Montana politico Evan Wilson had to say about it, and the chord it is striking with the American people.
Here's the video: (*Slight language alert)
Evan Wilson is a 2003 graduate of Billings Senior High School who just celebrated his 20 year reunion. He's also the son of the late Dr. Craig Wilson from MSU-Billings. Evan has had a great political career here in Montana and now serves as a vice president with a prominent political polling firm.
Check out what he shared with me when it comes to his thoughts on "Rich Men North of Richmond."
by Evan Wilson, Vice President of Moore Information Group
I first heard that song I think Thursday night. Radio West Virginia. It’s now been played close to 8 million times on Youtube and I think 9 of Oliver Anthony’s songs are on the iTunes or Billboard top 100 songs. Rich Men North of Richmond is a Cultural touchpoint in this country. A sign that things are not alright.
Look, we’re not the only people today talking about the impact of this song. Art imitates real life and while Oliver Anthony may not be the next Taylor Swift – his lyrics are indicative of a strong undercurrent of discontent in this country. And I think the case can be made that “Rich Men North of Richmond” is the song of the summer.
The key is to listen to the song. I mean take your pick of the lyrics, he’s got something for everyone. For me the part that rang the bell, so to speak, was when he’s talking about politicians having total control – that they want to know what you think, wanna know what you do.
That’s not news, right? We’re still dealing with the aftermath of COVID lockdowns, the IRS wanting to hire more field agents than the City of Billings – I mean I saw the footage Aaron of you flying in that Blue Angel FA-18 over the weekend. How cool was that for them to come to Montana and inject a little American pride back into the economy?
Remember when our president Joe Biden said last summer you’d need an F-15 and not our 2A right to a rifle to take on the federal government?! I sure do.
Anyway, the power of that song – Rich Men North of Richmond – is that it’s not just about this one guy’s struggles. It’s about all of us. It’s right there in the chorus:
“And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do….I wish I could wake up and it not be true, but it is. Oh it is.”
This guy gets it. And quite frankly I think there are a lot of politicians on both side of the aisle who could stand to sit back and listen to what folks like Oliver Anthony have to say.
We got 30 Trillion dollars in debt, Biden is asking for another $25 billion in aid to Ukraine the same week Maui has just burned to the ground, taking 100 souls with it. Inflation is back on the rise at 3.2% -- I’m not going to repeat what Mr. Anthony sings in his song about the value of a dollar but I know your listeners already know.
Look in polling one of the first questions we ask is mood – how are things in Montana today compared to yesterday? On national polls it’s called a State of the Union question. I went this morning and looked at the numbers – Reuters/Rasmussen – you name it. Nationally, close to two-thirds of voters in this country believe things are headed in the wrong direction. I mean it’s well over 2:1 wrong track v. right direction.
· After this song blew up the artist – a guy in his 30’s who lives on a 90-acre farm with 3 dogs – hops over to a small festival in North Carolina reading from the Book of Psalms (Chapter 37). Which for folks who may not be familiar with the Bible is from THE OLD TESTAMENT.
· I gotta tell you, Aaron, I’ve seen a lot of different approaches as a political operative over the years but reading out of the old testament at a grassroots MUSIC festival is a first. And this guy does it. Can you imagine a sitting congressman or Senator at an August townhall admitting your dollar today can’t buy what it could even a year ago? Under Bidennomics, folks are paying $700 more PER MONTH for the same goods and services 2 years ago. That’s unsustainable.
· Jason Aldean – Try that in a Small Town Bud Light – go look at the footage over the weekend from Anheuser Busch’s sad attempt to lure bikers in at Sturgis.
· Median household income in Yellowstone County Montana: $65,000. And for those folks who live North of Richmond? Median household income in Fairfax Co, Virginia: $133k – more than double.
Here's the full audio of Evan and discussing this LIVE on the Montana Talks statewide radio show Monday morning.