Gil Scott-Heron was a poet and musician. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
This song is a clear reminder that passive attention will not be enough. As President Obama said in his farewell address, "The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious, and sometimes bloody." It demands true engagement and accountability, a sense of one's own responsibility to the greater good. It demands that ordinary people get together, get involved, and demand change. —The Editors
You will not be able to stay home, brother You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip 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 interruption 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 be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie Wood 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 Mays Pushing that cart down the block on the dead run Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance NBC will not predict the winner at 8:32 or the count 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 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 right 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 whitetornado, white lightning, or white people You will not have to worry about a germ on 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 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 The revolution will be no re-run brothers The revolution will be live