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Great songs about television

Posted by Glenn Yoder  August 7, 2012 10:36 AM

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AP Photo/Claus Eckert, file; AP Photo/Andres Kudacki; Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

From left: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.

In Matthew Gilbert's list of the best songs about television, the Globe TV critic says he loves "songs that take to task both TV and the people who surrender too easily to it. We need to be kept on track."

Here are a few more songs Gilbert feels deserve honorable mention. Which songs are your favorites? What did we miss?

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
The Rolling Stones (1965)
When I'm watchin' my TV
And a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be

Tool (2006)
Eye on the TV
Cause tragedy thrills me
Whatever flavor it happens to be

Dave Edmunds (1978)
Let me tell you I don't care what's on if it's happy or sad
Don't give a damn if it's good or bad
I'll sit and watch it 'till it drives me mad
Just as long as it's on I'm glad

“Sixteen Military Wives”
The Decemberists (2005)
And the anchor person on TV,
Goes la di da di da

Gang of Four (1979)
Watch new blood on the 18-inch screen
The corpse is a new personality
Ionic charge gives immortality
The corpse is a new personality

The Normal (1978)
I don't need a TV screen
I just stick the aerial into my skin
Let the signal run through my veins

Green Day (1994)
I sit around and watch the tube but, nothing's on
I change the channels for an hour or two

“Apartment Story”
The National (2007)
We'll stay inside till somebody finds us
do whatever the TV tells us

“Amused to Death”
Roger Waters (1992)
The little ones sit by their TV screens
No thoughts to think
No tears to cry
All sucked dry

“I Hate the TV”
Violent Femmes (mid-1980s)
I hate the TV
You know that it's killing me

“Throw Away Your Television”
Red Hot Chili Peppers (2002)
Throw away your television
Take the noose off your ambition
Reinvent your intuition now

“Turn on the News”
Husker Du (1984)
With all the ways of communicating
We can't get in touch with who we're hating

“The Sun Always Shines on TV”
A-ha (1985)
Touch me
How can it be
Believe me
The sun always shines on TV

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About Viewer Discretion

What we're watching on TV.


Katie McLeod is's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at

Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.

Meghan Colloton is a Things to Do and Arts & Entertainment producer at

Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.