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Morning Song – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

December 16, 2015

(One in a series of songs that Rolling Stone left out of its 2013 “reader’s poll” of the “10 best protest songs of all time”.)

Gil Scott-Heron’s 1970 spoken word poem-song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, may be filled with hopelessly dated cultural references (Mendel Rivers? the Schaefer Award Theatre? Hooterville Junction?) but that only serves to highlight its continuing power and relevance.  The title has passed over into popular culture and political debate.  Its drums are regularly sampled by hip-hop producers. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a precursor to hip-hop’s creation a few years later in Scott-Heron’s New York City.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not make the cover of the Rolling Stone.

As Gil Scott-Heron predicted 45 years ago:

“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.”

(Now that’s a protest song.)

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