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Tom Morello, guitarist formerly with Rage Against The Machine

– Language warning –

History is not written by the winners, it is written by the writers: the poets, the story tellers, the song writers and playwrights. Music can tell our stories when newspapers and television fails to. With near saturation levels of Murdoch ownership of Australian media, with mining magnates and Liberal party lackeys making up the numbers, alternative voices are being sidelined. We still have music, and that is one place that Rupert hasn’t got his grubby, phone-hacking, police-bribing, hands on, yet.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
… at least not with Rupert dominating Australian media ownership. But it will be blogged, and tweeted and whatever social media platform will take over from twitter. The revolution will be live, stop watching Foxtel, turn off your televisions, walk out the door, we can all be participants, if we choose.

artist: Gil Scott-Heron – genre: funk, poetry – year 1971 Writer(s): Gil Scott-Heron
sample lyrics:

The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.

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.

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

The following three songs are a response to the media domination of Rupert Murdoch in the UK where his domination is not anywhere near Australia’s levels. These songs speak directly to the issue of Mr Murdoch, rather than media in general.

Dear Mr. Murdoch
Roger Taylor, of Queen, who has been active against Murdoch for decades, even helping supporters buy up a football team to prevent a Murdoch take-over. Taylor wrote this song in 1994, and updated it in 2011 following the News Of The World events.

artist: Roger Taylor – genre: classic rock – year 1994 / 2011Writer(s): Roger Taylor
sample lyrics:

Dear Mr. Murdoch, what have you done
With your news of the screws and your soaraway sun?
You sharpen our hatred
You’ve blunted our minds
We’re drowning in nipples and bingo and sex crimes

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pecFVzIfCNA

Never Buy the Sun
Billy Bragg has a good idea – don’t consume Murdoch media. Bragg’s song talks about a 20-plus-years boycott of Murdoch’s the Sun by the people of Liverpool related to their coverage of Hillsborough Disaster, and was written in response to the News Of The World scandal that involved hacking a murdered girls phone and bribing police.
*also available as a free legal download from Billy Bragg’s website: Never Buy The Sun

artist: Billy Bragg – genre: folk, rock – year 2011 Writer(s): Billy Bragg
sample lyrics:

Tabloids making millions betting bullshit baffles brains
They cynically hold up their hands if anyone complains
And they say “All we’re doing is giving people what they want”
Well they’re crying out for justice, people crying out for justice

In the corridors of power they all sit down to sup
With the devil and his minions, and they ask for his opinions
And the politicians they wring their hands and cry “What’s to be done?”
And Scousers never buy the Sun

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uWw7kuiCss

News Of The World
Written well before the News Of The World hacking scandal, it describes in all ugly glory the state of Fleet Street media run by an ex-Australian.

artist: The Jam – genre: mod, rock, new wave – year 1978 Writer(s): Bruce Foxton of The Jam
sample lyrics:

The truth is in what you see, not what you read
Little men tapping things out, points of view
Remember their views are not the gospel truth

Don’t believe it all
Find out for yourself
Check before you spread
News of the world

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAXeUKPwBj4

Soundtrack To The Struggle
UK artist, Lowkey, speaks on political issues – peace, anti-military-industrial-complex, Palestine – that tend to not make the corporate media.

artist: Lowkey – genre: grime, UK hip hop – year 2011 Writer(s): Lowkey
sample lyrics:

Declared a republic, and ended your monarchy
Your corporate dictatorship, pretends it’s democracy
I hold your bloodline, accountable for every crime
Adam Smith to Rothschild, it’s all been a clever lie
Two choices now, revolution or genocide
But thanks to Rupert Murdoch neither one will be televised

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToVvakKePYM

The following three* songs look at the situation of media in Australia, and cover more general media issues, other than ownership.

The 77% refers to the percent of Australians who supported the HoWARd governments actions in regarding the use of the military against the Norwegian ship MV Tampa (more info here). The Herd are calling out the racism and xenophobia encouraged by right-wing dominated talk-back radio and commercial television. – Language warning for the video link –

artist: The Herd – genre: Aussie hip hop – year 2003 Writer(s): The Herd
sample lyrics:

Talkback squawking hacks won’t relax
Until Jones’y, Zemanek and Laws are all axed
77 percent of aussies are racist
And if you’re here, I’ll say it your faces
Rich redneck pricks still hold all the aces

No doubt your as bad as your dads and ya mums
Mainsteam media making me so fucking glum
Just Anglo reality, intellectual cavities
Channel 9 fostering prejudiced mentalities
I won’t be a casualty, just mention casually
That I can’t stand for you shit-eating bullies
Preying on peeps without a mainstream voice
Most of you stay silent but I’ve got no choice

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQnGqdFO9EY

This song is from the perspective of how the media is used to brainwash us with propaganda, telling us what their corporate owners want us to know and only half the picture.

artist: The John Butler Trio – genre: roots rock, indie – year 2001 Writer(s): John Butler
sample lyrics:

What you watch, what you read
What you perceive is to be truth
It is all so subjective
So what you believe is up to you

But what are we to believe in
Between the lies and the truth? Youth
Media has vested interest
So what you believe is up to you.
You know its up to you
Don’t believe the lies, read between the lines,
Don’t believe the lies, critically analyse

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2jeTGhJz4o

Horror Movie
Keep people fearful and they are less likely to challenge the status quo, they will happily trade freedom for the illusion of security. “If it bleeds, it leads”, the cameras and microphones ever-present at every tragedy, war and natural disaster have become “war-porn” or “disaster-porn”, other people’s tragedies and heartbreak wedged between ads for useless consumer products.

artist: Skyhooks – genre: 70s Aussie rock – year 19 Writer(s): Greg Macainish
sample lyrics:

Horror movie right there on my TV
Horror movie and there’s known abuse
Horror movie, it’s the six-thirty news
Horror movie, it’s the six-thirty news

The public’s waitin’ for the killin’ and the hatin’
Switch on the station, oh yeah
They do a lot a-sellin’ ‘tween the firin’ and the yellin’-a

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7l8rlnMpCI

*Bonus Whyalla Wipeout
The obsession with right-wing spin and doom and gloom coming from the Liberal party during their 3-year election campaign, accepted as news worthy by media and presented as important to viewers was parodied by then-Trades minister, Craig Emerson as “Whyalla Wipeout”, backed by Skyhooks ‘Horror Movie’, after Tony Abbott said the carbon price would wipe Whyalla off the map. (Note: Whyalla is still standing).

artist: Skyhooks feat. Dr Craig Emerson – genre: parody – year 2012 Writer(s): Dr Craig Emerson (possibly)
sample lyrics:

No Whyalla wipe-out there on my TV, No Whyalla wipe-out there on my TV,
…shocking me right out of my brain

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZboCxbTzHk

Who owns our media, and what they serve up to us, why is this important?

When Julia Gillard was Prime Minister, she called out the shallowness and callowness of media, telling them “if I could put it as clearly as I can, I would say to you, ‘Don’t write crap‘” – the Australian media didn’t listen. The trivialisation of news as it becomes a vehicle for ads means we are not getting the whole picture of the state of the world.

Dirty Laundry
The media are still feeding us crap, obsessed with celeb diets, celeb breaks-ups and break-downs and celeb dirty laundry, you would hardly know there was wars, famines, melting glaciers, floods, austerity around the world – not when there are celebrities! not when there is Dirty Laundry to be aired on national TV.

This live version is dedicated by Mr Henley to Mr Rupert Murdoch

artist: Don Henley – genre: 80s soft rock – year 1982 Writer(s): Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar
sample lyrics:

We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry!

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzT10MSgKtU

When The Revolution Comes
The media thrive on hate, dissent, and mass shootings. War is good for business, keep people too frightened to leave their homes, keep watching television, keep buying useless consumer products, and never ask “Why?”.

artist: The Last Poets – genre: spoken word, hip hop, funk – year 1970 (?) Writer(s): Omar Ben Hassen
sample lyrics:

When the revolution comes
When the revolution comes
When the revolution comes some of us will probably catch it on TV, with chicken hanging from our mouths. You’ll know its revolution cause there won’t be no commercials
When the revolution comes

The cost of revolution is 360 degrees understand the cycle that never ends
Understand the beginning to be the end and nothing is in between but space and time that I make or you make to relate or not to relate to the world outside my mind your mind. Speak not of revolution until you are willing to eat rats to survive

watch: Youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M5W_3T2Ye4

No Shelter
Criticising consumerism, especially that portrayed in the media to be rebellion, even consuming media itself “Godzilla, pure muthafuckin’ filler” is like a drug as mass media seeks to distract us from important issues like hospitals that can’t make profits

artist: Rage Against The Machine – genre: alternative rock, alternative metal – year 1998 Writer(s): Rage Against The Machine [Tom Morello, Zack de la Rocha, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford]
sample lyrics:

To advertise some hip disguise
View tha world from American eyes
Tha poor adore keep fiendin’ for more
Tha thin line between entertainment and war

They fix the need, develop the taste
Buy their products or get laid to waste

Godzilla, pure muthafuckin’ filler
To keep ya eyes off the real killer
Cinema, simulated life, ill drama
Fourth Reich culture, Americana
Chained to the dream they got ya searchin’ for
Tha thin line between entertainment and war

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NEoesmnYU4

Choose Life
We can choose a life of mindless consumption, watching TV and choosing between Product A and Product B, or we can choose a Life.

artist: PF Project feat. Ewan McGregor – genre: electronic, trance – year 1996 Writer(s): Tzant
sample lyrics:

Choose a fucking big television
Choose washing machines, cars,
compact disc players, and electrical tin openers …
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing
spirit-crushing ga me shows
Stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all,
wishing you last in a miserable home
Nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish,
fucked-up brats
You have spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K-V8ZWyNMs

Television, the Drug of the Nation
If television, phones, computers are a drug, then what do you do with an addiction – you go to rehab. Unfortunately, some people are saying “no, no, no”. Too many think their Foxtel subscription doesn’t make a difference, since they can see through the bias. That’s like me saying, “sure, I donate money to the Liberal party, but I can see through the bias”. Turn the money tap off, turn off the TV, unsub from Foxtel, stop buying their newspapers and clicking their links.

artist: The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – genre: hip hop, alternative rap – year 1992 Writer(s): Michael Franti
sample lyrics:

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V. is mechanized politic’s
remote control over the masses
co-sponsered by environmentally safe gases
watch for the PBS special

It’s the perpetuation of the two-party system
where image takes precedence over wisdom
Where sound bite politics are served to
the fast food culture

Where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky4uYnsF3kc

Nothing On My Mind

artist: Paul Kelly – genre: Aussie rock, folk – year 1996? Writer(s): Paul Kelly
sample lyrics:

I just want nothing on my mind

There was a man on the radio today talking about the young people
Said we should listen to the young people, said they’re a victim of conspiracy
The young people, Jesus! What’s that supposed to mean?
I never did one damn good thing ’til I was over thirty

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IREBNzEKzFY

Oldest Story In The World

artist: Heart – genre: classic rock, hard rock – year 2004 Writer(s): N. Wilson, A. Wilson, C. Bartock
sample lyrics:

Crash the television
Thrash those games and fools
Gotta get a resolution
Better get back to school

It’s the oldest story in the world
There is nowhere left to hide
We just take it all in stride
When there’s no more asking why

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CZoqzaJIKA

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. Harriet Tubman

I Wish I knew How it Would Feel to be Free
We don’t have chains, we have electronic cords, connecting us to our gadgets.

artist: Nina Simone – genre: jazz, soul, blues – year 1967 Writer(s): Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas
sample lyrics:

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could say all the things that I should say
say ’em loud, say ’em clear
for the whole round world to hear

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSUlgOzARy4

Redemption Song
Lyrics of this song were taken from a speech by Marcus Garvey 1937:
We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind …

artist: Bob Marley & the Wailers – genre: reggae, roots reggae – year 1979

artist: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – genre: alternative, punk, rock – year 2002 Writer(s): Bob Marley

sample lyrics:

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
None but our self can free our minds

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?

watch Bob Marley: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFGgbT_VasI

watch Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F10tP5HIpaA

watch Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz8_H5m6ymA

* A Chris Cornell version of this song is available for free legal download here: Internet Archive – http://archive.org/details/ChrisCornellLiveInSweden

Free Your Mind

artist: En Vogue – genre: pop, RnB, soul – year 1992 Writer(s): Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy
sample lyrics:

Free your mind and the rest will follow
(Why oh why must it be this way)
Be colour blind don’t be so shallow
(Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me)

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7iQbBbMAFE

So what do we do? Boycott Murdoch media as Billy Bragg suggests, or consume it with a more critical eye.


Become The Media
This two-part spoken word piece by Jello Biafra talks about the dumbing down of media, and how we no longer have to accept being passive consumers of what big corporations feed us. We can become the media. As citizen journalism, blogs, video news channels, and almost everyone with a camera in our pockets, we don’t need Rupert telling us what is news and what isn’t.

artist: Jello Biafra – genre: spoken word – year 2000 Writer(s): Jello Biafra
sample lyrics:

Don’t hate the media, become the media

We demand more fair and more accurate balanced news coverage

And if we don’t get it, hehehehe, we’ll make it ourselves

We will not go quietly, and shut up and shop. We will boycott you and boycott your sponsors.

watch Part 1: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tye4vEYj5oc
watch Part 2: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1fhz9NtBoQ

Mexican Radio
Back when the Mexican and USAmerican governments were making agreements on who could control the airwaves, ‘border blaster’ radio stations set up on the Mexican side and blasted their radio on the FM band into the United States. These were not pirate radio stations.

artist: Wall Of Voodoo – genre: new wave, synth pop, post-punk – year 1982 Writer(s): Wall of Voodoo
sample lyrics:

I dial it in and tune the station
They talk about the U.S. inflation
I understand just a little
No comprende, it’s a riddle

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V04IBsz-9Wo

This Is Radio Clash

artist: The Clash – genre: classic rock, punk – year 1981 Writer(s): Paul Simon, Mick Jones, Nicholas Headon, Joe Strummer
sample lyrics:

Interrupting all programmes
This is radio clash from pirate satellite
Orbiting your living room, cashing in the bill of rights
Cuban army surplus or refusing all third lights
This is radio clash on pirate satellite

This sound does not subscribe to the international plan
In the psycho shadow of the white right hand
Then that see ghettology as an urban Vietnam
Giving deadly exhibitions of murder by napalm

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77EAvs4dq0k

Listener Supported

artist: Michael Franti and Spearhead – genre: hip hop, political – year 2001 Writer(s): Franti, Marie Daulne
sample lyrics:

Live and direct we comin’ never pre-recorded
With information that will never be reported
Disregard the mainstream media distorted
Whoop! whoop!
We comin’ listener supported
Live and direct we comin’ never pre-recorded
With information that will never be reported
Disregard the mainstream media distorted
Whoop! whoop!
We comin’ listener supported

Don’t take no prisoners if can’t afford to feed none
Don’t start no fights if you can’t predict the outcome
Don’t make donations where you cannot get your dough back
Fuck the apathetic bullshittas send em’ all your prozac
I will not climb into your telephone tree
And “hell no you cannot put me on hold!”

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixJOR63Ra18

How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise

artist: Brother ‘D’ and Collective Effort – genre: old school, rap, hip hop – year 1980 Writer(s): ?
sample lyrics:

How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise?
Agitate, Educate, Organize
How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise?
Agitate, Educate, Organize
How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise?
Agitate, Educate, Organize

watch: Youtube

In the end, though, it is up to each of us to ignore the spin, lies, distortions, obfuscations, and propaganda that passes for news that fills our airways and newspapers. It is up to us to stop putting our money in their bank accounts, if we don’t like what they are selling us, and telling us.

It is time we tell Rupert, Gina, Kerry and the Liberal party PR agency (the media organisation formerly known as ABC):

You Don’t Speak for Me

artist: Judy Small – genre: folk – year 1988 Writer(s): Judy Small (?)
sample lyrics:

You who poison the airwaves with Genghis Khan views
You broadcast your bias and call it the news
You say that you speak for the millions out there
And deny that you’re lighting a dangerous fuse
You don’t speak for me, no you don’t speak for me

You don’t speak for me, you don’t speak for my friends
We’ve followed that line, we’ve seen where it ends
Intolerance, hatred, division and strife
You don’t speak for me

watch: Youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEzt1B2Oo9A

You Don’t Own Me

artist: Lesley Gore – genre: classic rock, 60s pop – year 1964 Writer(s): John Madara and David White
sample lyrics:

And don’t tell me what to do
Don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display ’cause

You don’t own me
Don’t try to change me in any way
You don’t own me
Don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNb-8gLcXLs

Killing In The Name

artist: Rage Against The Machine – genre: alternative rock, alternative metal – year 1992 Writer(s): Rage Against the Machine [Tom Morello, Zack de la Rocha, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford]
sample lyrics:

Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWXazVhlyxQ

The Revolution

artist: BT – genre: electronic – year 2001 Writer(s): Brian Transeau
sample lyrics:

The Revolution will be televised.
The Revolution will be a war of attrition.
Wars against the sleeping.
The Revolution will be fought in all forms of media.
It’ll be fought on phone lines…
on cable modems…
and our cell phones
and our palm pilots…
The revolution will be fought on

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyrx2QlCL34

Glory Glory To South Sydney
One last song that will really annoy Rupert. Why the South Sydney football club song? During the Superleague V NRL war, when Rupert Murdoch tried to own everything, he couldn’t control the sport of Rugby league, so he formed his own rival code, which failed, and so the two competitions were re-merged. South Sydney were kicked out of the competition, a club with a long and proud history, a foundation team. Gone. The Club and supporters went to court against NRL and News Limited and won the right to get back into. This was one of Rupert’s public failures, his / News Limiteds inability to stop the combined might of people power, the law and justice.
(as I understand it, but more information here)

Sounds strangely reminiscent of Solidarity Forever.
artist: unknown – genre: football club song
sample lyrics:

Glory Glory to South Sydney

watch: Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVMtpIHkR_I

lyrics sourced from a variety of online sites, apologies for any errors
genres are via Last.FM
videos linked but no embedded, they make word press slow to load and glitchy