Ball of Wax 47 Songs: James Kelly Pitts – “Rich Kids”

James Kelly Pitts’s “Rich Kids” was one of the first submissions I received for this volume, just a couple weeks after I’d put out the call and barely a month after election day. It was clear that he had something he needed to get out there when he saw my e-mail, and get it out he did. There’s nothing subtle, coy, or playful about “Rich Kids.” It’s a dark, despairing vision of the mess we’re in, and a clear-eyed condemnation of the people who got us here. The chorus is altered slightly each time, beginning with the song’s only metaphor: “There’s a wolf outside the door . . .” and building to “Rich kids outside the door.” By the time you’ve reached the end of this brutal ballad, there’s no question as to which is more terrifying.

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