No matter where you stand in the political arena, it’s hard to ignore the turbulent conditions in which we find ourselves at the moment. In times of instability, oppression, division, and cultural chaos, artists are there to question the status quo, using their creativity to bring overlooked issues to light. On October 27th, Richmond, Virginia-based folk singer-songwriter (and academic doctorate-holder) Rob Williams, will do just that with the release of his new album, An Hour Before Daylight.
Today, Williams unleashes his new single from the record, “Tired & Poor.” In the grand tradition of truth-tellers and challengers like Guthrie and Seeger, he calls attention to our country’s founding principles, invoking the words from “The New Colossus,” the poem inscribed on the pedestal upon which our nation’s most recognizable symbol of freedom stands. “I wrote this song in the early months of 2017,” recalls Williams. “At the time, there was a lot of talk about building a wall along the nation’s southern border and trying to ban people from certain countries from traveling to the United States. It all struck me as contradictory to the principles that I associate with this country.”
In the song, Williams juxtaposes Americana images with the contributions of immigrants. “The verse I probably like the most is: He and the girl that he loved saw mountain majesties above/ Worked the land from sea to shining sea/Drove the highway ribbon wind, sang ‘This land is yours and mine’/ Fought the wars to keep the whole damn world free,” he reveals of his lyrics, which pair perfectly with the jangly guitar and rollicking rhythms that propel the tune like a steam locomotive through a hopeful countryside begging to be explored.
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Tired & Poor” by Rob Williams: