Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gil Scott- Heron The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Full Band Version) with information, words, & comments

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 spoken word composition "The Revolution Will not Be Televised".

Information about Gil Scott-Heron and the words to this poem are included in this post. In addition, this post information about that spoken word composition including explanatory notes on references and terms that are found in "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".

The content of this post is presented for sociocultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Gil Scot-Heron for his life's legacy. Thanks to all those who were associated with this performance, thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube. includes another sound file version of ""The Revolution Will not Be Televised" as well as four other examples of African American spoken word poetry.

"Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)[5] was an American soul and jazz poet,[2][3] musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. His own term for himself was "bluesologist",[4] which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues".[note 1][6] His music, most notably on Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul.

Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, The Last Holiday, was published, posthumously in January 2012.[7][8]

His recording work received much critical acclaim, especially one of his best-known compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".[9]"

(Gill Scot-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 Mendel Rivers 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, the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
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
on reports 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 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 right occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so god damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally screwed
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 or Englebert Humperdink.
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.


FEATURED VIDEO: Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Full Band Version)

spuddy83, Uploaded on Aug 7, 2010

A personal tribute I made to the great Beat Musician Gil-Scott Heron.

No need to post about the Julia reference. I understand it now, thanks to those who told me. :)

All copyright is owned by their significant specific parties.

""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 Black Power movements in the United States.[1] Its lyrics either mention or allude to several television series, advertising slogans and icons of entertainment and news coverage that serve as examples of what "the revolution will not" be or do."
Here are some explanatory notes about some references and terms that are included in "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" given in order of their appearance in that spoken word:
"cop out" - "n. An excuse designed to shirk responsibility."

"skag" - "a slang term for the drug Heroin"

"hog maws" - stomach of a pig, often eaten with chitlins (chitterlings) and considered (by some) to be a soul food dish,

"Harlem" - "Harlem is a large neighborhood in the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Since the 1920s, Harlem has been known as a major African-American residential, cultural and business center."
"Harlem sanctuary" in this poem probably refers to restaurants

"Julia is an American sitcom notable for being one of the first weekly series to depict an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. Previous television series featured African American lead characters, but the characters were usually servants. The show stars actress and singer Diahann Carroll, and ran for 86 episodes on NBC from September 17, 1968 to March 23, 1971"

"Whitney Young" - Whitney Young was an African American civil rights leader(born 1921– died 1971); head of the National Urban League

"Roy Wilkins" - "Roy Wilkins (August 30, 1901 – September 8, 1981) was a prominent civil rights activist in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s.[1][2] Wilkins' most notable role was in his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).[2]"
Note: Whitney Young (and the National Urban League) and Roy Wilkins (and the NAACP) were looked down upon by Black Nationalists in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"red black and green liberation jump suit" = red, black, and green were and still are considered to the colors of the African American flag.

Jackie Onassis - the wife of the 35th United States President John F. Kennedy (JFK)

Dick and Jane = lead characters in children's reading series of that name. One of those books was entitled Fun With Dick And Jane. That series was rather widely used to teach reading in United States elementary schools in the 1950s (and possibly some years after that).

"Search for Tomorrow" - a popular United States weekday television soap opera series

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