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Hank Williams Jr., ‘Keep the Change’ – Song Review

Keep the Change
Bocephus Records

It’s rare a song written from pure, uncompromising rage is worth the ink wasted, and Hank Williams Jr.’s new song ‘Keep the Change’ is no exception. In addition to being a thinly veiled attempt to make a few dollars off of an unfortunate controversy, Williams’ song does nothing but point fingers.

One could even argue he borrows liberally from his own daughter’s musical collection. Holly Williams charted a song called ‘Keep the Change’ in 2009. Her message to an ex-lover is similar to her father’s message to cable television, the President, etc. … but the 30-year-old blond folk singer lends tact and artistry to her poetry. Williams Jr.’s lyrics feel like a clumsy first draft.

I’ll keep my freedom / I’ll keep my guns / Try to keep my money / And my religion too / Try to keep on working / Try to keep on smilin’ / Try to keep my Christian name and y’all can keep the change,” he sings in the first verse.

While he’s angry with ESPN for allegedly trampling on his First Amendment rights (10 out of 10 legal experts would disagree), his beef with Fox News is less clear. “So ‘Fox and Friends’ / Wanna put me down / Ask for my opinion / Then twist it all around / Supposed to be talking about my father’s new CD / Well two can play that gotcha game, just wait and see / Don’t tread on me.

Sure the hosts on the TV talk show asked a question designed to elicit a certain response, but nobody tricked Williams into using Hitler and President Obama in the same analogy. He uses the chorus of the song as an opportunity to share his opinions on where the country is headed.

This country sure is hell bent on going down the drain / We know what we need / We know who to blame / United Socialist States of America / How do you like that name / I’ll keep the U.S.A. and y’all can keep the change.”

The musical arrangement and production value of ‘Keep the Change’ are top notch. It’s a shame to see good musicality wasted on such a hateful and hackneyed message.

.5 Stars

Listen to Hank Williams Jr., ‘Keep the Change’

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