Gil Scott-Heron, “The revolution will not be televised”

 

You will not be able to stay home, brother

You will not be able to plug in, turn on, and cop out

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag, and skip out for beer during commercials, because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox in four parts without commercial interruptions

The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle, and leading a charge by John Mitchell, General Abrams, and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre, and will not star Natalie Woods, and Steve McQueen, or Bullwinkle, and Julia

The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal

The revolution will not get rid of the nubs

The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run, or trying to slide that color tv into a stolen ambulance

Nbc will not be able predict the winner at 8:32, or report from 29 districts

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process

There will be no slow motion or still lifes of Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts in a red, black and green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving for just the proper occasion

Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant

And women will not care if Dick finally got down with Jane on Search for Tomorrow, because black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o′clock news, and no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists, and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose

The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, or Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back

After a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people, you will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, the tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl

The revolution will not go better with Coke

The revolution will not fight germs that may cause bad breath

The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised

The revolution will be no re-run, brothers

The revolution will be live

[By Gil Scott-Heron © Flying Dutchman, 1971]