Why Don’t They Play You On The Radio?

It happened again last night, it happens every time I play
When the gig is over someone has to say
A question that appears to be on everybody’s brains
As they’re driving down the highway in the commuter lanes
It sure is not just me, it’s the 99%
Of artists who are wondering about the thousands they just spent
On a CD that will never make it on the air
Now all of us are grownups here, we know life isn’t fair
But the answer to the question is one I’d also like to know
Why don’t they play you on the radio?

Perhaps my songs are too cerebral, they don’t make you dance
My melodies are boring, there’s no Spandex in my pants
Maybe it’s because I don’t use a drum machine
Maybe I’m too red or maybe I’m too green
Maybe folks just don’t want to hear it, they don’t want to analyze
Anything more complex than the space between your thighs
Maybe I should wear more glitter, go to parties in an egg
Perhaps I need to go electric or show a bit more leg
But it’s something I must wonder at the end of every show
Why don’t they play you on the radio?

I’m sure there’s an exception to each and every rule
But perhaps I’m too political, and not a useful tool
To keep the music in the background and the commercials in the fore
To keep the shoppers shopping, not protesting the war
To keep the lemmings humming the same three hundred songs
The songs they play throughout the year, each night and all day long
Maybe I just don’t make the grade to be one of the chosen few
Perhaps there was a sign somewhere and I just missed the cue
Or I need to change my name to Bruce or Silvio
Why don’t they play you on the radio?

It could be I just don’t have the talent that’s involved
I’m lacking the commitment, I’m insufficiently resolved
Or maybe there just aren’t a million people who might buy
More records made by some whiny leftwing guy
Or maybe they would, but I’m just out of luck
Because I don’t have a label that can spend a million bucks
Because Sony and Clearchannel have taken over everything
And you’ve got to pay the piper if you want to make the piper sing
And it’s the king who tells the piper where to go
Why don’t they play you on the radio?

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“Why Don’t They Play You On The Radio?” appears on the CD and Bandcamp album, Meanwhile In Afghanistan (2012).

A song about the trials and tribulations of being an independent musician.