revolution will not be televised

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron first recorded it for his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, on which he recited the lyrics, accompanied by congas and bongo drums. A re-recorded version, with a full band, was the B-side to Scott-Heron’s first single, “Home Is Where the Hatred Is”, from his album Pieces of a Man (1971). It was also included on his compilation album, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1974). All these releases were issued on the Flying Dutchman Productions record label.

The song’s title was originally a popular slogan among the 1960s protest movements in the United States.[1]

The song appears in the 1999 Denzel Washington and Norman Jewison film The Hurricane and on its soundtrack.[2]

In 2010, the New Statesman listed it as one of the “Top 20 Political Songs”.[3]

Cultural references

[edit]Covers and allusions

  • Elvis Costello‘s song “Invasion Hit Parade” from his 1991 album Mighty Like a Rose contains the lines “Incidentally the revolution will be televised/With one head for business and another for good looks/Until they started arriving with their rubber aprons and their butcher’s hooks,”[6] an allusion to the song.
  • The Sarah Jones song “Your Revolution,” a feminist interpretation of the song criticizing misogyny in mainstream hip hop, with the key line “Your revolution will not happen between these thighs”). A radio station that played the song was fined by the FCC.[7]
  • In the mid 1990s, hip-hop/rap artist KRS-One recorded a re-imagining of the song using different lyrics, written by Wieden+Kennedy copywriter Stacy Wall, for “Revolution,” a Jake Scott-directed Nike commercial featuring Jason KiddJim JacksonEddie JonesJoe Smith, and Kevin Garnett.[8]
  • The opening line of “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach”, performed by Snoop Dogg on the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, is “The revolution will be televised”.[9][10]


  1. ^Stokely Carmichael (1967). Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in AmericaISBN0679743138.
  2. ^“Sight&Sound: The Hurricane 1999”British Film Institute. 1999. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  3. ^ Smith, Ian (March 25, 2010). “Top 20 Political Songs: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”New Statesman. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  4. ^ Mansnerus, Laura (1 June 1996). “Timothy Leary, Pied Piper Of Psychedelic 60’s, Dies at 75”The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
  5. ^
  6. ^Mighty Like a Rose
  7. ^ Lee, Chisum (19 June 2001). Counter ‘Revolution’The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-10-02
  8. ^Eric King CD/AD » NIKE “Revolution”
  9. ^“Review: Gorillaz, Plastic Beach”The Quietus. March 5, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  10. ^“Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised lyrics”Rap Genius. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
The Best of Gil Scott-Heron

The Best of Gil Scott-Heron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One thought on “revolution will not be televised

  1. Pingback: revolution will not be televised | ummo – adult mmo rpg sim

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