Hank Williams Jr. lashes out at media in new song
NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) – Country singer Hank Williams Jr., whose theme song was pulled from “Monday Night Football” after he compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, lashed out at the media on Monday with a topical song called “Keep the Change.”
The track, which borrows its title and certain themes from another song released by Williams’ daughter, Holly, in 2009, was offered as a free download on his website.
Williams sparked an uproar when he appeared on the Fox News Channel show “Fox & Friends” on October 3 and said Obama’s pairing with Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner in a June golf summit was “like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
He also referred to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as “the enemy.” That day, ESPN publicly rebuked Williams and dropped his “All My Rowdy Friends” song as the opening theme for its weekly “Monday Night Football” broadcast.
He subsequently issued a statement saying he was sorry for anyone who took offense, but the Disney-owned sports channel and Williams later said they were parting company after an association of more than 20 years. Williams had introduced “MNF” since 1991 on both ABC and ESPN.
In his new song about the controversy, Williams took aim at both ESPN and Fox News.
“So ‘Fox & Friends’ want to put me down/Ask for my opinion/Twist it all around/Well two can play that gotcha game,” he sings on the track.
Williams, a longtime supporter of Republican causes, also sings that the United States is becoming “socialist” and takes a dig at Obama’s 2008 campaign theme of “change.”
“I’ll keep my freedom, I’ll keep my guns/Try to keep my money and my religion too … Keep the government out of my business/ and y’all can keep the change,” he sings.
The song ends with the 62-year-old Williams, nicknamed Bocephus by his country music legend father, urging fans to join him in a boycott.
“Yeah you can keep ‘Fox & Friends’ and ESPN out of your homes too. ‘Cause Bocephus and all his rowdy friends and his song is out of there,” sings Williams, who is selling “Hank Jr. for President” T-shirts on his website.
Fox News declined to comment on the song, and a representative from ESPN could not be reached for comment.
The new Williams track borrows its title from a song called “Keep the Change,” which released by his daughter, Holly Williams, in 2009.
While Holly Williams did not write the song, her version gained solid radio play with lyrics that present a more subtle but still biting critique of the Obama administration.
Hank Williams Jr. is slated to hit the TV talk show circuit on Tuesday, including appearances on the ABC daytime program “The View” and the conservative Fox News show “Hannity.”
(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Steve Gorman)
Mochila insert follows.