“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a spoken word piece by Gil Scott-Heron, who is widely considered to be the “godfather of rap”, and is probably Scott-Heron’s best known work.  Most of Scott-Heron’s work was centered around the political issues of his day; “Revolution” references Richard Nixon and the Watts Riots in L.A.  I like the references to slogans Scott-Heron employs throughout to make a point about rampant commercialism.  All in all, it’s a great song, as Dan reminded me the other day at dinner.

Screenshots from Apt Studio's video of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" to promote "Now and Then", a collection of Scott-Heron's poems and lyrics.

Screenshots from Apt Studio's video of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", to promote the book "Now and Then", a collection of Scott-Heron's lyrics and poems.

If you like the visual representation of GOOD’s “The Hidden Cost of War”, then you’ll find this music video of “Revolution”, created by Apt Studio, equally appealing.  It’s done in a different artistic style than GOOD, but it’s equal parts eye candy, especially considering it was created in 2001.  You can watch it on YouTube below, but I recommend watching the original on Apt Studio’s website for better quality and faster loading.

While you’re watching, here are the lyrics to “Revolution”, below; I excised the stanzas that this music video cut out, but the full song and lyrics can easily be found online.

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 the 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

on 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.

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.

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