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VIDEO: Parody Federal Employees’ Version of “Rich Men North of Richmond”

VIDEO: Parody Federal Employees’ Version of “Rich Men North of Richmond”

“It takes one person to do my job, so we have two”

As frequent readers of LI know, I have been obsessed with (Chris) Oliver Anthony’s break-out smash hit “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

Billboard reports:

Oliver Anthony Music’s breakout viral hit “Rich Men North of Richmond” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. Among other chart achievements for the singer-songwriter, he’s the first artist ever to launch atop the list with no prior chart history in any form.

In case you missed it:

Well, I’m happy to report that the good guys at Reason have created an excellent response from some of those rich men north of Richmond: federal employees.

And it’s hilarious. And kind of infuriating because it’s all too true.

Reason provides the lyrics:

I’ve been working till the break of 4:45
I get an automatic raise and I can’t be fired
Must wait to age 57 till I can retire
With an inflation-adjusted pension that somehow keeps going higher

Oh, it’s a damn shame what the world’s come to
They want us back in the office on Mondays too
Wish I could just wake up and it not be true
But it is, oh it is

Not living in the real world is a lot harder than you would know
Sure I got dental, but it’s bad, I go mental ‘cuz I had to fill out both of these forms
I also see price hikes on necessities
I had to purchase my rental in Ocean City
Please don’t tell anyone, it’s so embarrassing
The plight of rich men north of Richmond

I just sit here a-wasting my whole life away
‘Cuz this verification code is taking all day
How do you expect me to check my 401(k)?
Plus, my Fudge Rounds supplier no longer takes Apple Pay

Oh, it’s a damn shame what the world’s come to
It takes one person to do my job, so we have two
Wish I could just wake up and it not be true
But it is, oh it is

Not living in the real world is a lot harder than you would know
Sure I got health care, but I get an in-depth scare, only weeks left to open enroll

The new guy plays with his pen, he just sits there and snaps
How am I to get in all my 2 p.m. naps?
They want us back now on Tuesdays, I just might collapse
The plight of rich men north of Richmond

We’re just like you

There is something very very wrong with “the system,” and Anthony’s heartfelt and heart-wrenching song has hit such a chord with so many people of all races, religions, nationalities, ideologies, and the two genders that hope doesn’t sound quite so naive.

Busting through the fake “identity” divisions we have been flailing under—divisions that are really nothing more than a “look squirrel!” from the powers that be so we don’t notice what they are doing to us—is the first step.


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Nice! Captured it perfectly.

This Remy vid is always a favorite, too:

The Administrative State ..microagendized and smug to the last man, exhibiting degrees of gross incompetence that would stun anyone that actually worked for a living

    Capitalist-Dad in reply to puhiawa. | August 28, 2023 at 9:28 am

    The unelected, unaccountable, power grabbing administrative state is unconstitutional for three reasons: (1) most of what it does is unsupported by an enumerated power, (2) it represents a delegation of legislative power by Congress to the Executive Branch (especially since we know congressional oversight is routinely blown off by arrogant bureaucrats who refuse to give straight answers), and (3). it violates separation of power (encompassing lawmaking, enforcement, and judicial magistrates all within each the bureaucracy). If we close down every one of these tyrannical agencies unsupported by an enumerated, we would break the back of the Deep State. Ramaswamy’s idea would be adopted by the Republican Party if it truly intended to be fiercely constitutional. Don’t hold your breath.

Glad you posted this, Fuzzy. Oliver Anthony’s song did move me – the raw emotion of it. Simple. Beautiful. Hoped he’d turn down the record contract offerings and just be himself.

On watching it again I noticed what I did not the first time – there is something about that Em / C / G / D progression that’s very powerful and moving. Perhaps because it’s a circular progression – in a minor (sad sounding) key. And then I remembered – my own so-called magnum opus, also a lament, was written and recorded nearly 20 years ago and uses the very same progression. Of course, being an unknown mostly contemporary Christian artist, it went nowhere.

And this is a first for me, I find the parody offensive, only in the sense that it mocks something so real and raw. Wish they’d used a different tune. Or at least let Anthony’s song age longer before parodying it. I hope the parody doesn’t take the wind out of Anthony’s sails.

    henrybowman in reply to MrE. | August 27, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    Well, it’s a parody only by strict dictionary definition. Socially, it’s more of a reaffirmation than a rejoinder.

      Each of my parody song videos contains a clear declaration of it being a parody together with the MW definition of parody at the bottom of the credits page … because … right-leaning parodies trigger the humorless left … and … seeking to deter any lawfare, it gives me cover.

      What I mean about the effect of a parody song however, is that being intended for humor and ridicule (MW), they tend to be very short lived, particularly those of the political sort. For the same reason people don’t want to hear the same joke over and over. They’re a flash in the pan. Nevertheless, they have the potential to deflect and redirect, thereby stealing a little thunder from the original tune, even while riding its popularity and familiarity to promote itself. Some listeners will now associate Anthony’s song with the parody – and he’ll have to share the spotlight. How long before someone asks Anthony whether he’s heard it and what he thinks of it?

      Again, I’m surprised how I’m feeling about it – because I’ve been writing parodies for 50 years and have never considered the flip side.

    CommoChief in reply to MrE. | August 27, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    I would say Remy has buttressed the original. His use of satire is on point. These were some the sorts of things that fed employees were probably grousing about. Though, IMO, Rich Men North of Richmond is about a much broader group than DC politicians and their minions, fed employees. It’s about the reality that the area encompassing DC to NYC and the ‘elites’ who dwell there have effectively dominated our National culture, the US political system, our banking and financial system for a very long time. They are the ‘powers that be’ in a very real sense and like all elites do everything they can to maintain or increase their hold on power.

    amwick in reply to MrE. | August 28, 2023 at 7:05 am

    Cliche but true Mr. E… imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well,sometimes..

The parody is as good as the serious song, though less weepy. Then again, I’m not one for folk protest songs.

So, what are the odds that V.R. contracts Oliver Andrews to write a millennial protest song along the lines of “Come Together.” Vivek is cynical enough to try something like that. A consummate Silicon Valley – oily salesman sort of thing. Repurposing old stuff is his thing; the Obama skinny kid line to the Nixonian grin and arms raised victory pose.

Millennials cast themselves as ironical cynics.

Does it matter if oldsters such as myself either like or dislike Vivek?

Remy hits the 9-ring regularly.
My favorite is his “Buy a Shotgun” with Joe Biden.

Subotai Bahadur | August 27, 2023 at 6:13 pm

Remy’s strikes me more as a serious anthem of the DC culture.

Subotai Bahadur

Thanks it was very good

    CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | August 28, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    Indeed. NYC is North of Richmond and a certain Rich man running for President hails from the Big Apple.

Satire? I didn’t hear no stinkin satire, I heard a song about life in DC by a feseral employee. Where is the parody?