Kenny Chesney’s New “Rich and Miserable” Video is an Intense Look at Materialism, America and So Much More


Typically, Kenny Chesney isn’t one to make political statements. And technically, his new video for “Rich and Miserable” is less political and more a deeper look at materialism and the American dream.

Before we hear a single note or catch a glimpse of Chesney, actor John C. McGinley serves as college professor asking a room full of students, “What will you be willing to give to change the word ‘miserable’ to ‘joyful’? What will you be so rich with that you’d be willing to share it with the entire world? And I want you to distill all that down to one word, come up here, write it on the board, and then walk out the door. And then I want you to give it to the world.”

As students start to write their words on the chalkboard, Chesney starts to sing:

Green grass, hope the cows graze
Hedge fund, 401
Cake, milk and honey in the land of the free

New York Times, Farmers Almanac
Too busy to call our momma
Back porch ain’t what it used to be
We don’t know what we want, but we want it
And we want it, all right now
We’re too young until we’re too old
We’re all lost on the yellow brick road
We climb the ladder but the ladder just grows
We’re born, we work, we die, it’s spiritual
Enough is never enough
American dream never wakes up
Too much is never too much
We won’t be happy ’til we’re rich and miserable

The video transitions back and forth from Chesney in the empty classroom to the chalkboard where students have written words like “peace,” “optimism,” “joy,” “gratitude,” and “humble.”

It’s a different take from Chesney from familiar writers, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Jesse Frasure.