Oliver Anthony makes history atop Billboard Hot 100 — and veteran left-wing musician takes direct aim at his ‘d**n song’​

Overnight music sensation Oliver Anthony just made history atop the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart this week with his working-class anthem “Rich Men North of Richmond,” which took off out of nowhere less than two weeks ago courtesy of a video shot in the woods with a single microphone.

As readers of TheBlaze know, leftists in the media quickly took notice of Anthony’s meteoric rise and, not surprisingly, criticized him as well as conservatives supporting his message.

Now joining in on the predictable pushback is veteran left-wing singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, who just penned a pro-union response to Anthony’s tune titled “Rich Men Earning North of a Million.”

What are the details?

First, the good news. Billboard said with “Rich Men North of Richmond” debuting at number 1 on the Hot 100 songs chart, Anthony’s the “first artist ever to launch atop the list with no prior chart history in any form.”

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“The hopelessness and frustration of our times resonate in the response to this song,” Anthony told Billboard exclusively. “The song itself is not anything special, but the people who have supported it are incredible and deserve to be heard.”

Billboard added that Anthony is only the sixth artist ever to debut a first solo Hot 100 entry at No. 1 and that “Rich Men North of Richmond” is the first song by a solo male to start atop both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs simultaneously.

Here’s that famous clip of Anthony’s tune. Content warning: Language:

Oliver Anthony – Rich Men North Of Richmondyoutu.be

What’s with the Billy Bragg song?

Bragg — a 65-year-old U.K. artist — has been a fixture on the music scene fringes for decades and is arguably as well known for his left-wing activism as for his songwriting.

“Since I saw that clip of Oliver Anthony singing his song ‘Rich Men North of Richmond,’ the ghost of Woody Guthrie has been whispering in my ear. ‘Help that guy out’ Woody keeps telling me; ‘Let him know there’s a way to deal with those problems he’s singing about.’ So today I sat down and wrote this response to Mr. Anthony’s song, for people like him and people like you,” Bragg wrote in the description of his song “Rich Men Earning North of a Million,” which was posted Monday on YouTube.

Bragg’s song — which uses the same melody as Anthony’s tune — urges folks to “join a union, fight for better pay” and “organize today.” He specifically pushes back at Anthony’s dig against those who take advantage of welfare with the following lyrics: “So we ain’t gonna punch down on those who need. A bit of understanding and some solidarity. That ain’t right, friend. If you’re struggling with your health, putting on the pounds, doctor gives you opiates to help you get around. Wouldn’t it be better for folks like you and me if medicine was subsidized and health care was free?”

Bragg also sings, “We know your culture wars are there to distract while libertarian billionaires avoid paying tax. You want to talk about bathrooms while the flood waters rise. The forest is on fire and the wind burns our eyes. Something’s wrong here. They want to divide us, because together we’re strong. Are you gonna take action now you’ve sung your damn song?”

Here’s Bragg’s song. Content warning: Language:

Billy Bragg – Rich Men Earning North of a Millionwww.youtube.com

Anything else?

A little over a week ago, Anthony played his first concert since “Rich Men North of Richmond” went viral — a free show at the Morris Farm Market on the northeastern edge of North Carolina. He told the overflow audience clamoring to see him that in June he played there for a crowd of “about 20 people.”

Before he began singing, Anthony read from Psalm 37: “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming …” The crowd cheered as he concluded.

Last week Anthony said he’s rejected $8 million deals from music executives in the wake of his breakout anthem.

“I don’t want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet,” Anthony wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.”

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