"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" as written by and Gil Scott-heron....
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 4 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 television 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 in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers in 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 life 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, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
Women will not care if Dick finally gets 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,
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, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the 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.


Lyrics submitted by orangetomorrow

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" as written by Gil Scott-heron

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commenthe has a genius for using humour to reinforce a serious message that is rare in pop music
    azkmon June 29, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti saw an interview with Gil Scott-Heron and he said the song was basically about people who want changes but don't want to do anything to makes those changes...basically if you want 'revolution', you can't sit and wait for it to come on your t.v. set....
    fuzzyslipperson March 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow, I would have never guessed that there would be no comments about this. I think revolution is racial equality and thus the "revolution" will not be put on television, it will be live, as said in the last line.
    Chuck Norris Zombieon October 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou can't stay at home and watch "the revolution." A revolution is not an event. It is not planned or scheduled and it has no commercial value or mass appeal. It is living in the present and it exists within an individual. It is what the Greeks called "metanoia" or repentance - a changing of mind and attitude and conversion to embrace a way of living that goes beyond your limitations. So you can't just sit and wait for the revolution to come to you and watch it pass by like a parade. No one will bring to you or show it to you. The world has no interest or desire to give you the revolution because ultimately the world derives no benefit or advantage from the revolution.
    lyricthinkeron May 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of the best messages ever. i agree with what the previous posters said.
    lin_neaon March 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is no pop music, it's a poem.
    Kungkisstankon December 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWas listening to this song this morning. I have never heard the entire song. I agree with fuzzyslippers. That is the message that I got from the song. Even all the way in South Africa, I understand his message even though I don't relate to some of the pop culture references. You've got to be aware of what's happeniong around you and particpate, make things happen.

    I also appreciate the other message that possibly highlights broadcasters tendancies to emit the harshness of what it takes to create change in society. He emphasises that the revolution is taking place, but that the reality is not made public knowledge by whatever powers may be. Did anyone else get that from the song? I think that that is an important message because nowadays the truth is brought to the forefront more often by some brave journalists and activists. We need to remember that it was not always like this. We are so lucky, and I'm so glad I heard this song this morning to help me understand my appreciation.

    And yes, this is quite funny: "The revolution will not go better with Coke.
    The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath."




    nthabisengon February 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment He emphasises that the revolution is taking place, but that the reality is not made public knowledge by whatever powers may be. Did anyone else get that from the song?

    This is a brilliant observation, thankyou for pointing that out!

    To quote Rage against the Machine...


    They load the clip in omnicolour
    Said they pack the 9, they fire at their prime time
    Sleeping gas, every home was like Alcatraz
    And mutha fuckas lost their minds

    elwoood13on May 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHear it from the man himself............

    youtube.com/…
    ALBRIGHTONon October 09, 2012   Link

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