Oct 12, 2011

Hank Williams Jr. - "Keep the Change" - My Thoughts

Hank Williams Jr., Hitler, Obama, ESPN, uproar.. blah blah blah, you know about all that by now. But have you heard Hank's response song, "Keep the Change?" It's a free download for a time (I'm pretty sure 48 hours has passed - but it still says it's free at this moment). The 30 seconds or so it takes to download it is worth more to you than the song, so just listen on YouTube or something.

Confession: If you haven't figured it out by now (I try to stay out of politics on this blog), I'm a conservative on most issues. I'm not a big Obama fan, but I'd never compare him (or anyone who hasn't killed millions) to Hitler. And you could tell Hank thought about that statement ahead of time, so it wasn't a misspeak. Do you honestly think he goes around talking about Benjamin Netanyahu often enough to just drop his name into conversation?

(An aside: Whatever happened to middle ground? That seems to be the rarest of property these days - everybody with a platform seems to be far right or far left….)

Anyway, this song requires its own response, due to its high profile and low intellectual content. One of my musical pals, who will remain anonymous, had this to say on Twitter: "And not to mention that when you're getting more press now-- more than in the last decade combined... When everyone's finally looking again/You drop a gigantic sonic and lyrical turd. In front of the entire universe. Well played."

I can't speak to the sonic qualities (or lack thereof) of this song very well, so I'm just gonna go at these lyrics like the proverbial spider monkey. As I said earlier on Twitter, "Keep the Change" makes Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" sound like a Woodie Guthrie classic. Coincidentally, Worley also put out a song called "Keep the Change" that's also about Obama. Very original, Bocephus.

On to the lyrics:

I'll keep my freedom
I'll keep my guns
Try to keep my money
And my religion too

So, you're unwilling to relinquish your freedom or guns, but you might give up your money and religion? Doesn't that make you a hypocrite Hank? A wise puppet once said, "Do or do not, there is no try." This bears all the hallmarks of a haphazardly jotted down set of lyrics. Oh, right…

Try to keep on workin'
Try to keep on smilin'
I will keep my Christian name and y'all can keep the change

Your Christian name? Are you concerned that Sharia Law will be put into effect in the next couple of years and we'll all be forced to take an Islamic name? Really? I guaran-damn-tee that won't happen. Even if the population goes through a massive enough shift to someday enact some sort of Islamic law, you and I'll both be long gone before that distant future. And it won't happen by force. In the words of Ice Cube "we'll burn this motherf**ker down" before that happens.

I will keep my heroes
Pictures on the wall
I'll keep my family safe
You bluff when I call
I'm gonna keep my big V8
Keep my friends the same
Keep the government outta my business
And y'all can keep the change

Has anyone actually threatened to drive over there and take pictures of your heroes off the wall of your home? I don't recall even the most liberal of lawmakers saying they had any desire to do that. "You bluff when I call"…it's all a big poker game now, or where you just looking for a rhyme? I think the latter. Also, no one is threatening to take your V8 (I assume you mean your gas guzzling pickup truck and not the vegetable beverage, judging by your waistline), but hey, it's your money - spend all you want on foreign oil. "Keep my friends the same" wtf is going on here? Nobody gives a damn if you and Kid Rock keep having sleepovers, chill out.

This country sure as hell been goin' down the drain
We know what we need
We know who to blame
United Socialist States of America
How do ya like that name?
I'll keep the USA and y'all can keep the change

Do I even need to comment on this chorus? It'd dumber'n a truck full of velvet Bocephus paintings. He spouts off "United Socialist States of America/How do ya like that name?" as almost a non sequitur. Hank's been talkin' crazy for several years now, but this just ups the ante. None is how I like that name, Hank, and that's only a little less than I like this song.

So FOX and friends
Wanna put me down
Ask for my opinions
Then twist it all around
Supposed to be talkin' about my father's new CD
Well two can play that "Gotcha' Game" just wait and see
Don't tread on me

Now we get down to the money shot. Not just FOX and Friends…. nearly EVERYBODY not hiding in a bunker with 2 years worth of canned goods put you down for your opinions that were supposedly twisted. How can things that actually came from your mouth be twisted anyway? You have a history (mostly similarly insane) of political comments and songs - did you really think they wouldn't go there? So you're going to play a "gotcha' game" with them now? How's that? Lookee - "don't tread on me" filled a rhyme; how convenient!

This country sure as hell been goin' down the drain
We know what we need
We know who to blame
United Socialist States of America
Don't ya just LOVE that name?
I'll keep the USA and y'all can keep the change

I'll keep the USA and y'all can keep the change

Yeah, you can keep FOX and friends and ESPN outta your homes too
Cuz Bocephus and all his rowdy friends and his song is outta there!

I'm not boycotting ESPN because they took your song off. Where else am I gonna watch SEC games? And it's business, not rights infringement (as someone so astutely pointed out when I got bent out of shape myself when this story first broke). Grammar fix: "…Bocephus and all his rowdy friends and his song (ARE) outta there!"

And now I'm outta here. This song is atrocious. Hank should've at least struck while the iron was hot and charged for it. A lotta knee jerks would have plopped down their .99 for it.

I love most of Hank's older work, he's an unquestionable legend. I respect his legacy in the music. I even enjoy his crazy comments sometimes. But for God's sake, couldn't he have spent more than 5 minutes on those lyrics?


  1. I'm a conservative & a Hank Jr fan and the song makes me cringe. I have only heard clips of it from Glenn Beck's interview with Hank yesterday. His voice is as fine as ever, which somehow makes it worse.

  2. I agree that the lyrics are not great or maybe even good but..........I like it.

    I don't think Hank jr. was calling POTUS Hitler, why did everyone jump to that assumption? It was an analogy if you want to say that it wasn't an analogy, then how do you know he wasn't calling Boehner, Hitler??

    Also, why would you ask Hank jr. to comment on politics? Fox & Friends had to know that anything could come out of his mouth at that point.

    As for ESPN, that is their right to pull his song. It would really be nice to have someone grow a spine and stand up to the PC infested culture we live in. (maybe that is the reason I like the song)

  3. I'm pretty conservative but I don't want to be associated with Hank Jr's ideas in any way. He doesn't make a thoughtful case for conservative views, he just comes across as an ignorant blowhard. That doesn't represent conservatives well: undecided and independent voters are unlikely to be impressed by Hank Jrs drivel. Conservatives don't need it.

    Anonymous asks "how do you know he wasn't calling Boehner, Hitler?" That wouldn't be much or any better than calling Obama Hitler.

    Also, I dislike PC type stuff, but its not PC to insist that Hank Jr shows a bit more thoughtfulness and respect than to go around publicly comparing the prez. to Hitler. I think it is fair to expect people to maintain a modicum of civility and intellectual respectability, and Hank Jr failed to do that.

    I enjoy Hank Jrs music and I'll continue to. But he is not representing himself or conservatives well.

  4. He is a singer.If you get your politics from a singer you are probably too easily influenced.The song is either entertaining or it's not. God help us all if Hank Williams Jr. is the political figure we are counting on for information and guidance.

  5. Maybe if Jr. would stop pretending he didn't have a son and start listening to him, then he might learn a thing or two. About music and not making himself look retarded.

  6. Liberals have turned this country into a bunch of over-sensitive cry baby pussies.And who the hell hasn't called someone Hitler in their life?Do they mean it literaly? No.Most of this is PHONY outrage.Do a quick google image search with the words Bush-Hitler.Happy reading and the media basicaly ENDORSED it.

  7. should have been fired for wearing that hat



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